Investors ranging from small German savers to global life insurers have long complained about central banks’ use of negative interest rates.

Now, however, another group is feeling the pain from negative rates — central banks themselves.

European and Japanese rate cuts are putting pressure on many central banks’ returns — a source of income used to cover running costs and to provide finance ministries with profits on which they have come to rely.

A poll of reserve managers from 77 central banks, entrusted with reserves worth $6tn last August, found a clear majority were changing their portfolio management strategy as a result — including taking steps such as buying riskier assets.

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