Episode 940: Interest Rates... Why So Negative? : Planet Money All over the world, interest rates are very, very low. In some places, they're negative: you lend out money, and get less back. | Subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.
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Episode 940: Interest Rates... Why So Negative?

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Episode 940: Interest Rates... Why So Negative?

Episode 940: Interest Rates... Why So Negative?

Yann Schreiber/AFP/Getty Images
This picture taken on May 26, 2019, shows a person dressed as an euro coin in the garden of the German federal bank in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.
Yann Schreiber/AFP/Getty Images

The economy as we know it is changing. All over the world, interest rates are very low. In some places, they are so low that something inconceivable up until a few years ago is happening: interest rates are going negative.

Government bonds from countries like Germany, Japan, France, Sweden, Denmark, and Switzerland now have negative interest rates. There are approximately $16.5 trillion dollars of bonds outstanding that pay you back less than you put in.

Today on the show, we try to answer some questions that go to the heart of the state of our economy: Why is this happening? And what will the consequences be?

Music: "We Float Remote" and "Pyramid Thoughts."

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