“…, punishing savers with negative deposit rates is the height of stupidity.”
“It would be fitting if there was an immediate run on deposits. And if that happens what will Sweden do? Halt deposits? Sweden risks (and deserves) a currency collapse and bank runs for this insane effort. Look for capital flight in Sweden.”
There has been a lot of ludicrous recommendations recently to combat deflation by making deposit rates negative. I did not think any central bank would be dumb enough to try it. I thought wrong.
Today, Riksbank, Sweeden’s central bank cut the deposit rate to -0.25% effectively charging savers interest on deposited money.
The weak development of the economy requires a somewhat more expansionary monetary policy. The Executive Board of the Riksbank has therefore decided to cut the repo rate by 0.25 of a percentage point to 0.25 per cent.
Deep economic downturn
Economic activity abroad is very weak and this hits Sweden hard. Exports have fallen substantially and the situation on the labour market is continuing to deteriorate rapidly. The information received in recent months points to the economic downturn in 2009 being somewhat deeper than the Riksbank forecast in April.
The decision on the repo rate will apply with effect from Wednesday, 8 July. The deposit rate is at the same time cut to -0.25 per cent and the lending rate to 0.75 per cent.
Sweden Attempts To Boost Lending
Please consider Sweden cuts rates to new low, offers banks loans.
Sweden’s Riksbank cut interest rates to a fresh record low on Thursday and offered banks 100 billion crowns ($13.2 billion) to boost lending as it strives to reverse the country’s worst recession since the 1940s.
The central bank lowered its key interest rate by 25 basis points to 0.25 percent in a surprise move, putting official rates at their lowest since records began in 1907, and said it expected rates to remain at that level until late 2010.
“It’s a double whammy, or even a triple whammy,” said Roger Josefsson at Danske Markets.
“The deposit rates are actually negative now. In some sense they are creating a money machine for banks. You can lend all you want, but don’t put that back into the central bank.”
Sweden was plunged into recession late last year as the global financial crisis pulled the plug on market demand, leaving firms such as world number two truck firm Volvo scrambling to cut costs and shed jobs.
The central bank forecast the economy will contract 5.4 percent this year and return to tepid growth of 1.4 percent next year.