Vol. 19, No. 1, 2021
I discuss the demand and supply of negatively yielding bonds, which is a recent and relatively unprecedented phenomenon in ﬁnancial markets. To understand why one would lend to lose, I classify buyers into three categories, i.e. “forced buyers”, “speculators” and “non-ﬁnancial government entities”. I conclude that the demand for bonds that are guaranteed to lose money can locally be justiﬁed by a variety of rational reasons. However, while locally rational, this conclusion raises important questions about global ﬁnancial stability. Do negative yields mean that the bond market is distorted due to demand and supply mismatch, and if so what are the consequences if there are unforeseen macroeconomic shocks?
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