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Do negative interest rates create jobs?
Quantitative Easing (QE) by the Federal Reserve has a goal of increasing liquidity and the circulation of money and reducing interest rates. Negative real interest rates are used by Central Banks with the goal to stimulate economy by pressuring people to start a business so they can earn a yield. The problem is that marketing or finding customers is the hardest part of running a business. An investment advisor would not recommend buying a business simply because financing was attractive; instead they factor is demand for goods and services.
In many other countries loans are granted to businesses that are not creditworthy because it is a matter of government policy. These banks are called “policy” banks instead of real banks because they don’t operate with a constraint to loan only to credit worthy businesses. In Japan during their great real estate bubble of the 1980’s the banks would persuade businesses to borrow more than they needed with a promise to buy office buildings from them at predetermined appreciated prices. This is an example of negative interest rates creating an expansion of loans and the money supply. But that behavior is not allowed in the U.S. banking system.
Thus offering loans at negative real rates will only have a minimal impact on the economy in terms of creating more growth.
It may be true that when yields are too low that investors will invest in junk bonds which are issued by lending company that seeks to find extra borrowers by lending too much to high risk borrowers. But those businesses would be a non-bank shadow bank type of lender. Their financing is more constrained and unreliable, so if they get into trouble their access to funds gets shut of quickly. These lenders are only interested in lending at high rates. So the impact of negative real rates makes them more willing to lend yet they only want to lend at high rates. This negates much of the benefit of artificially low rates.
Very low interest rates could induce more investor to become landlords. This would result in a surplus of rental properties, thus cutting the market value of rents, since there is a finite supply of tenants. As rents were cut then the owners would find their leveraged investments didn’t produce the projected profit and then real estate prices would go down.
A futurist and clean energy expert, Toni Seba, has predicted that electric vehicles would destroy the global oil industry after a decade. By 2030, 95% of people won't own private cars which would wipe off the automobile industry, he says.
Boeing and JetBlue Airways have announced they would begin selling a hybrid-electric commuter aircraft by 2022. Planned by start-up Zunum Aero, the small plane would seat up to 12 passengers and reduce travel time and cost of trips under 1,600 km.
Here is another "great" product from Herbalife. Marketed as an ENERGY drink mix. Few people know it contains Gurana seeds which have no active compound giving artificial energy other than caffeine. Afresh also contains additional caffeine
Ingredients of Herbalife Afresh Energy Drink Mix: Maltodextrin, Orange Pekoe Extract, Guarana Seed Extract, Acidity Regulator - 330 and Caffeine Powder.
The Public Provident Fund (PPF) will now offer 7.9% but experts say it is still a good option for investors. Given that consumer inflation is down to 3.65%, the real rate of return of the PPF is a healthy 4.25%.
"This is quite impressive for an option that offers assured returns," says Amol Joshi, Founder, PlanRupee Investment Service. "Investors should continue to take advantage of this long-term tax-free product," he adds.
Even if you compare the PPF rate with the 10-year government bond yield, the scheme is attractive. "The 10-year bond yield is a better benchmark for PPF than consumer inflation," says Manoj Nagpal, CEO, Outlook Asia Capital Currently, the 10-year bond yield is around 6.8% and the PPF at 7.9% makes it for a premium of 110 basis points. "Historically, the average premium has been around 75 bps. So, the PPF investor is today earning a higher real return," says Nagpal. Even so, some investors may be feeling disappointed by the cu…