by Matthew Borin
Negative interest rates are unsustainable and once investors decide to stop paying for the privilege of holding government debt, a banking crisis could result, says James Grant.
The founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer was one of several speakers at the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA)’ Annual Benjamin Graham Conference to remark on the ramifications of unprecedented loose monetary policy.
Central banks are treading in uncharted waters. Sidney Homer and Richard Sylla, the authors of A History of Interest Rates, found no instance of negative rates in 5,000 years. Now there are $11.7 trillion invested in negative-yield sovereign debt, including $7.9 trillion in Japanese government bonds and over $1 trillion in both French and German sovereign debt.