Zero and negative nominal interest rates are something new under the sun. In 3,800 years of history, we’ve only observed near-zero rates a few times, and almost never negative ones. Of course, real rates have been negative for extended periods, but this is different.
There is much that we do know about the relationship between nominal interest rates, inflation, real (inflation-adjusted) interest rates, savings, real capital investment, and productivity growth, but the current situation reveals that there are many important things we do not know. There are at least five mysteries or questions for which we are looking for answers.
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