The world’s tentative experiment with negative interest rates got off to an unremarkable start.

Sweden’s Riksbank – the world’s oldest central bank – became the first major monetary authority to cross the rubicon and take its main policy rate into the red exactly a year ago to the month (see map above).

The Riksbank’s move followed the likes of Switzerland and Denmark, who had turned negative in a bid to stimulate flagging inflation and halt the punishing appreciation of their currencies.

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But the introduction of sub-zero rates caused no immediate panic in financial markets that central bankers were “losing control”.

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