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HSBC: Negative Interest Rates? All It Did Was Create A Bubble


Just after the Bank of Japan decided on its own negative interest rate experiment, central banks worldwide are considering a similar play to give economies a boost amid the global chaos. 

But that might not be such a good idea. Banking giant HSBC says all sub-zero interest rates lead to is a housing bubble—not monetary stimulus.

Sweden was the first place to enact negative rates back in July, Bloomberg reports. And while the Swedish currency has strengthened and growth has improved, "this has come at the cost of a housing bubble,” HSBC economist James Pomeroy says.

And strategists at Deutsche Bank agree, concluding—albeit on limited data—that "negative rates are not an optimal tool for easing financial conditions."

Pomeroy says the BOJ, the European Central Bank or any other central bank looking towards negative rates should take Sweden’s failure as a warning, given a lack of theory around the policy. [Bloomberg]