Gavin Goy, Jan Willem van den End, 20 April 2020

The lockdown of economies during the COVID-19 crisis creates conditions in which private sector demand may fall unboundedly while precautionary savings increase. This column argues that the crisis will push down the equilibrium real interest rate further, which has been trending down since the 1980s. However, higher government spending to combat the crisis could counter this trend. The overall effect on the equilibrium interest rate will depend partly on the extent to which the increasing public debt can provide the private sector with a safe asset for holding precautionary savings.

Nicola Mai, 14 June 2018

The rise in global debt has continued unabated following the Global Crisis. This column argues that elevated debt levels will continue to put downward pressure on equilibrium interest rates across the world’s major economies, constraining central bank efforts to normalise rates and supporting the thesis that global equilibrium interest rates have fallen.

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