by John Rubino
Not so long ago the financial world viewed certain numbers as limits beyond which lay trouble. Interest rates near zero, for instance, were thought to risk destabilizing the banking system. And government fiscal deficits above 3% were considered so dangerous that exceeding this level was prohibited by the Maastricht treaty that all euorzone members were required to sign.
Those numbers — 0% and 3% — are still considered bad. But now for the opposite reason: They’re insufficiently aggressive.
A big part of the world, as everyone now knows, operates with negative interest rates. And prominent economists are urging even greater negativity as a way to make government debt profitable and get people borrowing and spending again.