from Zero Hedge
When the financial media says that governments get paid to issue negative yielding debt, that is not exactly true: most sovereign issuers still pay out a cash coupon, a modest as it may be, while they pocket the negative amortization on a bond issued above par for the life of the bond resulting what ultimately ends up being a negative yield for the buyer net of all cashflows at maturity. However, the lower – or more negative – yields get, the less the need for an issuer to actually pay a cash coupon: after all with a negative yield, it is essentially superfluous.
Still, while no sovereign has issued bond with negative cash coupons yet, some are starting to issue zero-coupon ten years: bonds which pay no cash coupons at all.
This is precisely what Germany is about to do in a few hours.