The effects of ultra low interest rates on banks and the economy

On 13 December, William White made a presentation on this topic in the final panel of a two day conference at Imperial College Business School in London UK.¬† Other panelists were Jose Manuel Campa, Nicholas Veron and Martin Wolf. Mr White spoke first about the effects of ultra low rates, both desired (generally ineffective) and undesired (generally unintended) and then about negative rates. The distinction reflects the possibility that there could be a “phase shift” at the Zero Lower Bound. He concluded by talking about alternatives to ultra low rates, and stressed the need for efficient processes to facilitate the orderly restructuring of debt loads that have grown very heavy.