Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Negative Rates Destroy Savers,
The Bedrock Of Capitalism"
"This reality has profound implications for economic growth: consumers saving for retirement need to reduce spending... A monetary policy intended to spark growth, then, in fact, risks reducing consumer spending."
- Larry Fink, Blackrock
"So where does that leave our economy? In the developed financial economies, as a bloc, lowering interest rates to near zero has produced negative consequences. The best examples of this include the business models of insurance companies and pension funds. Insurers have long-term liabilities and base their death benefits, and even health benefits, on earning a certain rate of interest on their premium dollars. When that rate is zero or close to it, their model is destroyed. To use another example, California bases its current and future pension payments to civil workers on an estimated future return of 8% or so from bonds and stocks. But when bonds return 1% or 2%, or nothing in Germany’s case, what happens? We’ve seen the difficulties that Puerto Rico, Detroit, and Illinois have faced paying their debts. Now consider mom and pop and other people who read Barron’s. They are saving for retirement and to put their kids through college. They might have depended on a historic 8%-like return from stocks and bonds. Well, sorry. When interest rates get to zero—and that isn’t the endpoint; they could go negative—savers are destroyed. And savers are the bedrock of capitalism. Savers allow investment, and investment produces growth."
- Bill Gross*, Janus
LINK HERE to the article

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