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Negative rates: Desperate gimmick or vital strategy? Add to ...

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For thousands of years, savers were paid to deposit money. Over the past few months, that time-honoured practice has been flipped on its head.

Around the world, interest rates are going negative.

An astounding 27 per cent of the global government bond market is now trading at subzero rates, meaning that investors are effectively having to pay for the privilege of stockpiling wealth. In Europe and Japan, regulators are forcing commercial banks to hand over fees if they want to keep money on deposit with central banks. Policy makers in Canada and the United States acknowledge that they, too, are looking at the idea of pushing some interest rates into negative territory.

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