Will negative interest rates cause suppliers to demand later payments?

An article in the New York Times (February 12, 2016) titled “Negative 0.5 % interest rates: Why people are paying to save”, asks if suppliers, in a shift from the past, prevent buyers from paying up front. The logic is that upfront payments held in banks will create supplier costs. But will customers also shift their money to inventory which incurs physical storage costs but can avoid the fees for money. How will supply chains change in response to more rampant negative interest rates across the world? Will larger inventories at negative interest rate countries become the norm? Or will cash payments increase and thus create a different set if physical flow handling issues for retailers?

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43 Responses to Will negative interest rates cause suppliers to demand later payments?

  1. Rodney Williams says:

    I do believe that if negative interest rates become the norm, then companies will conform their business practices to what they believe is the most cost effective as they adapt. However, because of relatively newness of negative interest rates, it is difficult to predict the direction suppliers will take in response. By delaying customers from paying up front, will allow suppliers to have assets in accounts receivables that they are not getting charged because it hasn’t yet been converted to cash and placed in banks for storage. I think that one probable route (preferred by central banks) is that suppliers would immediately reuse the cash in order to prevent incurring storage cost. In this case, inventories would be purchased (also on credit to prevent cash holdings on part of inventory suppliers), invested, etc. The point here is to keep the money moving and prevent it from going to banks and incurring cost. However, on the reverse side, what if suppliers choose to move their cash reserves to oversea banks that do not have negative interest rates? In this case, there will be money leaving the domestic economy and preventing GDP growth. Negative interest rates could also open the door to new industries that allow suppliers to store cash without being charged, thus depleting cash reserves in banks without immediately being pumped back into the economy. Ultimately, I believe that simply using negative interest rates alone would not produce the sought after results, without being combined with other restrictive measures that would prevent loopholes that companies would try to take advantage of.

  2. Sooin Kim says:

    Negative interest itself may trigger a certain level of consumer consumption and more cash payments. However as the negative interests would not be everywhere, there will be always some alternative ways to manage the individual capital. Also I don’t think people consume drastically as long as their future expectation is not positive despite the negative interest rates. The negative interest rate doesn’t seem to imply this. The negative cost of capital may trigger suppliers to stack more inventories but they are supposed “react” to the consumer demand accordingly as well. Probably a lead of entrepreneur or some state lead on certain consumption policy would be boosting the consumption indirectly.

  3. Patrick Lee says:

    I think the exchange rate will impact this also. Supply chains will more than likely find ways to hedge against the negative interest–find floating rates to support them. I don’t think this will be the norm, if alternatives can be found thus cash payments may be varied within this realm and with in retail establishments.

  4. Kyle Harshbarger says:

    Inventory holding cost depends on each businesses’ cost of capital. While a lower interest rate lowers the cost of capital, it is still more valuable to have the cash as sooner for investment in other things. If they only source of investing is the negative interest rate, then the timing of payment is not important. Since the cost of capital is much higher than -0.25% at any supply chain using business I can think of, they will continue to want cash as soon as possible.

    • Paul C. Barron says:

      Kyle, you said “If the only source of investing is the negative interest rate, then the timing of payment is not important.” I’m unable to see the logic, would you please explain?

  5. Emily London says:

    How will supply chains change in response to more rampant negative interest rates across the world?

    Companies will be more inclined to purchase inventory more often in order to avoid the fees of having cash in the savings account. There will be a larger focus on the pace of ordering and stocking items. Customers will be purchasing more to get rid to turn their cash into physical form instead of lose money in their accounts due to the negative interest rate.

    Will larger inventories at negative interest rate countries become the norm? Or will cash payments increase and thus create a different set if physical flow handling issues for retailers?

    I do not believe the negative interest rate will be the norm. Cash payments might increase just due to the fact it looks better for a company to not owe any money. Overall negative interest rate will create new supply chain issues and disrupt the distribution flow for the company.

  6. Paul C. Barron says:

    Rodney, great points! I don’t remember the precise context, but I do recall Prof. Lazer (or possibly Prof. DeRoon) mentioning capital management by doing exactly what you suggested: extend the time frame of accounts receivable while reducing accounts payable. Then pulling back into the macro perspective–“what is suppliers choose to move their cash reserves to overseas banks…money leaving the domestic economy”–I think this is a VERY REAL possibility. There are companies that have been doing just that over the past 8 years. When the U.S. dropped the interest rate to near-zero, companies like Apple, Microsoft, Eaton, and even Walmart moved large portions of their cash reserves into Chinese banks as China’s interest rate was much more “competitive.” Not exactly related to interest rates but corporate tax rates, American companies have already shown their willingness to relocate their company HQ to foreign locations to avoid U.S. corporate tax (e.g. Facebook and others moving to Ireland). The approach of reducing the interest rate to spur the economy is a method with decades of historical success; however, dropping the interest rates into the negative realm in a downward trending economy (a economic frontier of sorts) may have the opposite effect. With corporate cash reserves and taxable operations leaving the U.S.–and even individuals possibly doing the same respectively–could result in greater damage to the economy. So with the right accounting and finance strategy to protect a company’s cash, supply chains may not be altered AS MUCH as other areas in a business.

  7. Frank Griffin says:

    Banks have been charging customers a service charge for keeping accounts below a certain amount for years. Overall, that charge does not change behavior my opinion, as long as the change is not too significant. I feel the same will be for negative interest rates, as long as the rates do not become to negative. Also I feel suppliers will not change behavior based on slightly negative interest rates. If customers want to pay early, to guarantee payment and create cash flow, that will out way some increase in cost. The shift from inventory storage cost vs. negative rate charges will probably cancel each other and not affect change. Again, I feel slightly negative interest rates will not force much change.

  8. Brian Karabelski says:

    The intention of a negative interest rate is to incentivize consumer spending by pushing them to spend money instead of paying a fee to keep it safe in a bank. The other intention is to push banks to lend money more freely to both individuals and businesses for investment and overall economic growth. Personally, I don’t think this will change the supply chain. The cost to hold larger inventories is larger than the benefit of the negative interest rate.

  9. Colleen Mockbee says:

    I think this could be an interesting factor for negotiating terms in a supply chain expanding the options to tailor inventory/lead time etc. For example, to extend credit for having short lead times from suppliers. Perhaps it would provide enough incentive to small companies to carry a high level of inventory.

  10. Jimmy J. Guerrero says:

    I am not sold on the policy of using negative interest rates as an effective mean to stimulate economic growth and raise inflation. While I understand that one of the intentions is to discourage investors from buying the local currency, which tends to push its value up, it may also unintentionally lead to people relocating their saving account balances from the bank to somewhere underneath their mattresses or safe boxes. The latter does not benefit the economy.
    Supply chains, as well as demand, may not be necessarily impacted by negative rates since they are a great incentive to borrow money, which will most likely get converted into inventory.

  11. Peter says:

    I agree with Brian K’s assessment on what the purpose of the negative rate is and that it probably won’t change supply chains very much. The negative interest rates will be in near zero if not negative growth. The safety of risk free assets with known loss is much preferred over large inventories with the potential for obsolescence, shrinkage and other dangers in addition to regular inventory costs…

  12. Matt Geddie says:

    As of now I do not believe the small negative rate will have much effect, however if the rate begins to creep to 2-4%, suppliers will need to refine their manufacturing and strive to run leaner.

    With a negative interest rate it makes more sense to put your cash into inventory than in the bank, meaning suppliers will end up with larger purchase orders and in turn more cash. Suppliers will need to adopt practices of attempting to bring in cash that is turned right back around to do an additional run. Growing in a stable manner, whilst ensuring they are spending their cash and not just letting it sit and deflate.

    I think it could be great for growth in some market, but the management of cash assets will have to be uniquely managed in a way most CFO’s have not seen.

  13. Pratik Chandhoke says:

    I agree with Frank Griffin’s assessment. A negative 0.5% will not be a huge impact to the supply chain behavior. The assumption is that this would lead to increased inventories to store as asset and avoid saving cash in a bank. Like Frank mentioned banks already charge a fee to have your accounts above certain threshold. This negative interest rate is low enough to be considered as a fee. It would be more expensive to move money out of the bank (for example increased holding costs due to additional inventory) then the “fee” incurred due to -0.5% interest rate. Supply chain however should benefit from low interest rates as exports from international manufacturers will be cheaper due to drop in currency value.

  14. I do not see much change because of negative 0.5%. Though some people may look for alternative places to invest their money where there is lesser risk of losing money, I think most people would not mind paying paying for it.

    Some customers may shift their money to inventory only in the case it is a significant number for them. But supply chains may not change otherwise even for a more rampant negative interest rates as this phenomenon would soon reverse to positive rates. Larger inventories at negative interest rate countries will not become a norm even when all the countries are developed economies with no much space to expand and when some more economies are contracting. Cash payments may find space in some sectors sporadically but it would create interest only to a few retailers.

  15. Mike Flatt says:

    I agree with Frank and Pratik as it regards to supply chain investments. I don’t see the small amount of negative interest rates having a tremendous effect or affecting much long term behavior. Time will tell in how long the condition persists though. I think something more crucial is how safe a bet the inventory is. If the inventory has a chance of obsolesce the risk increases and thus the holding cost will increase. How does this increase in holding cost compare to the negative interest rates? The reason the negative interest rates are present is due to the weakness of the overall global market. Personally I would take a slight penalty for holding cash vs. the risk of inventory.

  16. Oswin Joseph says:

    Its highly unlikely that the US will head towards negative interest rates unless we go back into 2008 – 2009 type recession. Corporations will move cash from countries yielding negative rates to countries that are not. It is hard to tell what will happen to money market funds in the US for example if we did have prolonged negative rates greater than 1%. Suppliers would typically re-invest the cash into inventory or use it for other long term fixed investments instead of holding at the bank and getting charged the negative rates. Its an interesting dynamic that know one has really seen in Finance and goes against many of the tenets of modern day finance. Only time will tell what will ultimately happen but Central banks need to come up with creative ways to prevent countries plunging into deflation…though they may be out of bullets and fiscal policies may need to looked at (tax rate levers) to stimulate global growth.

  17. Dan Skinner says:

    I agree with Brian Karabelski. If the interest rates don’t go significantly negative, the holding cost of inventory will still be larger that the benefit of a negative interest rate.
    I think an externality of this interest rate will be that more companies that do decide to convert their cash to inventory will risk bankruptcy. This will encourage behaviors that will cause companies to put themselves in positions that aren’t as liquid, and more prone to financial distress.

  18. Courtney Metzger says:

    Thanks for the perspective Oswin. I had not yet thought through the global implications for capital.

    In regards to inventory, my team manages approx $4M in issued material a year. All of which sits in inventory for some period of time. While we are currently entertaining a proposal for VOI (which would have less value in this situation) our holding cost is higher than .5%. There would be no benefit to a corporation to move their cash into inventory at this rate.

    Perhaps with a negative IR we would see faster turns on accounts payable, but that would likely be offset by faster turns on accounts receivable. If the rate was pushing 3-5% then a logical outcome for my company, would be to investment in PPE, which is the FED’s objective.

  19. M. Moore says:

    Customers will look to pay in advance for goods or services like a prepaid account or prepaid blanket P.O.. The supply chain itself will be impacted by those who desire to maximize their current value of cash in stockpiling inventories. This will stimulate stockpiling commodities and raw materials, component level inventories and assemblies will be a bit more risky due to obsolescence.
    For the supplier they will then shift from an accounts receivable focused company to creating a mini banking system to manage and allocate pre-paid funds from customers and fielding the burden of negative interest rates.
    The negative interest rates will need to be balanced with carrying cost. There may be a teetering point where stocking may be more expensive than avoiding negative interest.
    I foresee that inventories of far upstream materials like metals, chemicals, etc that have a variety of uses and infinite shelf life would increase as an investment for liquid capital.
    For assemblies and finished goods, I would foresee payments in advance from customers and suppliers creating an internal banking system to hold these funds and apply for when delivery request are placed. In addition, holding costs will throttle the levels of inventories companies will be willing to hold
    I would see an increase in “cash” Payments, but I would also see an increase in retailers providing a pre-paid service. The prepays would be a vehicle to lock your funds and commit to future purchases. Industries in Pre-Paid Credit Cards, I would foresee exploding as a vehicle to harbor your money. To be competitive the prepay company would have the card start-up or reload fees be less than the negative interest rate

  20. LaBaron Hartfield says:

    As many have stated, I do not believe negative rates will become the norm. This is likely a short term phenomenon as the benefits of the negative interest rates are likely to be overshadowed by the costs injected into the supply chain to build and maintain storage space. For a firm to place all its cash in inventories comes at a high opportunity cost that limits the options of firms to invest in other areas of the business. For negative interest rates to persist, one would have to assume that there is an endless supply of credit to finance purchases and that payments can be postponed indefinitely. Given this scenario does not and will not exist, cash will be needed to finance some level transactions always. Long term negative interest rates should result in a contracted credit supply. Less available credit will drive the demand for cash to settle payments. The free market equilibrium would correct by forcing rates to zero and above.

  21. Kriti Chandhoke says:

    I agree with Pratik and Mike that negative interest rates are not a norm. Supply chain will not change their behavior and buy excessive inventory in the short term. Increased inventory leads to higher holding costs which could be higher than the expense occurred due to -0.5% interest rate. If the -0.5% interest rate do persist in the long run, there will be less supply of credit as people will pull money out of banks. On the other hand, the exported goods will become cheaper for international manufacturers as US dollar weakens.

  22. Courtney Metzger says:

    Thanks for the perspective Oswin Joseph. I had not thought through the global implications of a move like this.

    In regards to inventory, my team manages approx $4M in issued material a year. All of which sits in inventory for some period of time. While we are currently entertaining a proposal of VOI (which would complicate this question more) our holding cost is higher than .5%. There would be no benefit to a corporation to move their cash into inventory at this rate.

    Perhaps with a negative IR we would see faster turns on accounts payable, but that would likely be offset by faster turns on accounts receivable. If the rate was pushing 3-5% then a logical outcome for my company, would be to investment in PPE. Which is what the FED would be trying to stimulate.

  23. C. Thomas says:

    How will supply chains change in response to more rampant negative interest rates across the world?
    Companies will begin pulling their funds out of the central bank, because it doesn’t make sense for them to pay money to hold cash. Corporations will begin doing exactly what the FED wants them to do with this move and use their reserves to buy PPE to promote economic expansion, promote job development, reduce unemployment, and increase wages. In addition, this move will help to devalue the dollar relative to other currencies which will help increase the demand for U.S. exports. With this increase in demand, supply chains will need to invest more heavily in inventory or make improvements to their supply chain to reduce lead time by incorporating techniques to manufacture on an as-needed basis.

  24. Meera Gursahaney says:

    Since negative interest is a new concept it is difficult to predict the impacts but it seems to me that there would not be a major shift in the consumer mindset to keep more of their money in tangibles. While I believe companies would adapt their supply chain to maximize cost savings, it seems that avoiding negative interest by increasing inventory would not be viable as holding costs associated with an increase in inventory would negate the interest expense. It seems more likely that companies would adapt by passing the cost onto consumers as well as increase positive liquid investments. That being said, with the vast majority of the world at positive interest rates, and the globalization of the market place, for major companies there will be no change in overall business operations.

  25. Marcellus Robinson says:

    I was unaware of negative interest rates until I read this article and we discussed it in class. From a Finance perspective, I have to echo Oswin’s comments. My own company, a brokerage firm, expressed that the Market is aware of the “talk” around negative interest rates, but there doesn’t seem to be any serious consideration to move in that direction.

  26. Yana Simanovsky says:

    I agree with the chorus of comments made thus far. I view the concept of negative interest rates much like the introduction of new technology. It will draw attention because it is new, but will find itself slow toward adoption if at all. In the United States. from what I have read, there doesn’t seem to be a wide appetite yet in embracing this new concept. But I suppose, like all things, time will tell but my personal opinion is that for the foreseeable future this will prove to be a non-event.

  27. Brian says:

    Business will adapt, period. In a few of the earlier comments folks mentioned Prof Lazer discussing the adjustment of accounts receivable and payable based on inventory management. Businesses in many ways have no choice but to adapt in this way if the manner in which people are financing their purchases changes. I can also imagine a scenario in which inventories are managed so precisely that it’s almost like being in a made to order industry. For global suppliers of raw materials or really heavy/dense materials this may be a bit more challenging but there could be ways to manage the buying and shipping of materials so as to lesson the overall time those things sit in a warehouse. Similarly, inventories of finished products could model themselves like Subaru and essentially eliminate inventories: they don’t make the cars until their are orders for them which reduces the time they have materials and finished products in house.

  28. Shibashish Sen says:

    We can assume that negative interest rate will increase lending from banks. With increased money given out by the banks, Supply chain could actually be benefitted. SCM of different companies could focus on rapid modernization of infrastructure. However, translating the same into inventory may not be a viable long-term plan. One cannot foresee the unrecognized holding loss/gain by holding more inventory. It is pure gamble. It is because of this common sensical reason that I do not foresee larger inventories at negative interest rate countries become the norm. The cost depends on a whole lot of other factors. But as Brian mentioned above, businesses will adapt their finances. Supply chain is no different. One such example is stated in the article, where the author points out that is negative routines become the norm around the world, many commercial transactions would take place with a short-term credit. Cash payments are likely to increase as well, as most folks would be discouraged to save money in banks anymore. Business will definitely follow suite and adopt the same approach. but they are more likely to make risky investments just to avoid keeping cash at the bank. Such investments could prove to be a bane in the near future, may even cause the company to go out of business. One example that comes to mind is Williams- Sonoma’s acquisition of Outward Inc. in 2017. (Refer article : https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171116006314/en/Williams-Sonoma-Announces-Acquisition-Outward). Now such an investment in a high tech augmented Virtual reality design company is a part of a well thought out plan by Williams-Sonoma. Negative interest rates could drive companies like Williams-Sonoma to make 5-6 tech acquisitions like this to avoid falling into the interest rate trap. Say 3-4 of those acquisitions don’t yield any profits or benefits over the next 5 years. It would be detrimental to the company’s finances in long term. Something to ponder over.

  29. Brian Cronin says:

    Manipulating interest rates is one of the many levers that can be pulled to modify a consumer and business’ behavior. The concept of negative interest rates is to have it cost a small amount of money to hold cash in these negative interest vehicles to dissuade people from parking cash and hopefully stimulate spending or prepayment activities. Most of these financial levers have a very short shelf life, meaning they work for a period of time, but then have to be replaced with some other financial strategy. Look at the last 18 months with the Fed Funds rate. The economy is roaring and there are concerns of inflation so they begin to raise rates. Too much too fast causes a slow down and economic recession concerns, so the Fed begins to lower rates quickly. I don’t believe negative interest rates will ever be widespread or last for long periods of time. I do think that on the margin it can provide incentive for consumers and businesses to find creative ways to hold cash, spend cash or prepay to avoid interest in the future.

  30. Jim Berki says:

    The negative interest rates across Europe is unprecedented. This central bank action will absolutely affect consumer and business behavior. While a majority of these stimulus programs are typically short lived, business’s will have to incorporate the cost of holding additional cash in financial institutions. These costs will be passed along the supply chain with the consumer ultimately bearing the brunt of these cost increases. European business’s will order more goods and will bear the increased holding costs only slightly as the cost of holding inventory will typically outweigh the increased cost of capital. European business will need to be very nimble and adapt to these central bank actions to continue operating efficiently.

  31. Chris Salkeld says:

    With negative interest rates it could be difficult to predict the impacts. There may not be much change in investors thinking if they more in more tangible vehicles. Companies would adjust their business practices but appears that avoiding negative interest by increasing inventory would not be a great idea. Costs associated with an increase in inventory would negate the interest expense. The consumer would ultimately pick up this cost.
    The negative interest rates would be offset by higher receivables.

  32. Matt Larabee says:

    With Negative interest rates it is devised to not have money parked for a long period of time but instead to be pumped back into the economy. Many have mentioned that to avoid this they should just rack up the inventory and pay the fees associated with that because you’re losing money either way, but in the higher inventory case you have tangible assets on hand to make up for the loss of money whereas having cash just sitting in a negative interest rate account you’re losing money just to lose money, so I can see the upside for bulking up inventory. As mentioned by others, the negative interest rate strategy is just a fade and banks will adjust rates to make sure they are still attracting customers, as will companies, they will adjust their business practices to make sure that they aren’t losing a ton of money. It almost seems like there can be a shift in either direction depending on the economy. A business operating on a production based on consumption model might be more ideal to park their cash in a negative interest account rather than increasing inventory when you don’t typically operate that way and vice versa.

  33. Brandon Thesing says:

    Some really great points all the way along this discussion thread. To me the piece the rings the loudest is businesses alike will adapt, react, change and any time you have an extreme it will not hold for a long period of time without having to readjust. As I think about our own business we are constantly looking at ways to effectively manage inventories, accounts receivables and accounts payable that create the healthiest business for our company. I agree completely with Brian C’s point that “it can provide incentive for consumers and businesses to find creative ways to hold cash, spend cash or prepay to avoid interest in the future” Our business has capitalized on bringing in large amounts of prepay and maximizing its effectiveness for both our company and our customers. Each industry and consumer will be different as the how they manage their inventories due to type of product is so drastically different.

  34. Omoruyi Usuanlele says:

    The impact of negative interest rates while difficult to assess in an economy that has been used to credit and positive returns on savings and other money market instruments, one can draw inference from some of the developing countries where the financial systems are not as mature and a lot of transactions are still cash based. This could lead to a more challenging business environment and affect the economy adversely when producers of goods have to pay upfront or in advance for their supplies and demand same of their customers. They will rather pay for inventory holds than lose money to the banks in negative interest charges. The banking sector will also suffer as more people will rather store cash or hold on to other assets that will not require them to pay fees. The credit card processing companies and other financial institutions that act as a “storing and forwarding” system for purchasers and suppliers will become defunct as there will be less money available for doing business.

  35. Mai Komatsu says:

    More recent reports show that negative interest rates are still in place in Europe five years after first installed (ref. 1). It is not clear if they achieved the goal of boosting spending and economic growth and many critics claim they are doing more harm than good (ref. 1,2). There are also reports that some rich savers are withdrawing accounts and having cash or gold privately stored despite of the costs and consequences (ref. 2). Similarly, business may opt to have larger inventories, increase cash payments or demand later payments. However, with increasing anti-money laundering regulations requiring transactions traceability, those in countries with negative interest rates may have no other option but to work through bank accounts.
    Ref. 1. https://www.bloomberg.com/quicktake/negative-interest-rates
    Ref. 2. https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/23/investing/switzerland-cash-negative-rates/index.html
    Ref. 3. https://www.gtreview.com/news/europe/eu-anti-money-laundering-reforms-3-changes-for-trade-finance/

  36. Claudia Morato says:

    I don’t believe the negative interest rate will ever be spread and used broadly in the economy. Companies will learn how to manage this cost and probably, the consumer will be the most affected at least in the beginning. Innovation will be the key as the companies will need to keep the lowest amount of cash held if it does not want to see the cost ramping up.

  37. Sravan P. says:

    This is a very interesting and touchy subject, one that is not very far from becoming a reality here in the US. Granted in the short-term, negative interest rates will cause the value of the currency to fall, thus allowing more opportunities for exports and perhaps stimulate the economy further. And perhaps, this may help lower the currency value disparity that exists among the various world currencies; however, the question is, is it a good long term for the economy?

    I agree with the other comments here that the industry and the consumers alike with adjust and will adapt to the new norm. So, will the investment into the economy continue? or will the consumer find other ways and means to park the money. Perhaps people will use safety deposit lockers to store cash or resort to old ways of stashing cash in and around homes.

    As the blog notes, this is going to change the strategy of the consumers and the manufacturers alike. Cash transactions will become common, and how would the banks be affected by this? This would adversely affect the banking industry.

  38. Harini K says:

    Negative interest rates will stimulate economy by encouraging people and businesses to borrow and spend money. But negative rates also narrow the margin that financial institutions earn from lending. In the long run, this will hurt the health of financial institutions and they could stop lending and damage the economy. This may be a short term solution but can’t be a norm.

  39. Kyle Hummel says:

    A lot of very good points from individuals who are very familiar with these types of activities and how they affect the economy. I think that to some extent, smaller companies and individuals would learn workarounds as the article suggests (finding somewhere else to store cash in wads of $100 bills). It would be interesting to see how clever companies and individuals would become in finding ways to store their money, whether it be in inventory, or cash. I cant help but think about the companies who are currently in the marijuana industry and how they are dealing with not being able to put money in the bank because banks will not accept it. They might be the companies to look to in order to find out how companies deal with not being able to, or not wanting to, put money in the banks. Hopefully negative interest rates wont just increase the amount of money stored in mattresses!

  40. Rachel Austin says:

    I completely agree with my class mates that businesses and individuals will find creative ways to store their cash elsewhere. The article listed out “weird things that could happen” as a result of negative interest rates and I do agree with their predictions. To echo Matt’s comments, companies would learn ways for purchasing inventory ahead of time to increase assets as the negative interest rates would be seen as a liability (at least to me). There are several companies out their who now (Apple, Venmo, CashApp, Paypal) offer cash pay services via mobile apps and I could see them possibly going into business to accommodate individuals for their “cash storing” needs and omit the need to transfer to a bank account at all. There could be a increase in interest for alternative cash methods (i.e. Bit Coin) to individuals or companies who may have never considered it before.

  41. Diane Vojtas says:

    While it remains to be seen if negative interest rates will simulate an economy, I do not believe that these rates will materially affect the behavior of consumers or suppliers’ behavior. Habits such as using a bank are ingrained in people’s daily lives and the persuasion to seriously consider alternatives would have to be greater than -0.5%.
    Well-informed people living in countries with negative interested rates will be actively assessing the costs and benefits of investing their money in a bank versus other good and services. The concept of prepay bills is an interesting one. I would imagine that if this practice became commonplace that the rates charged by the supplier would proportionally increase to cover the increase costs incurred by the supplier to hold larger amounts of cash. Ultimately, this would make paying bills early or investing money in the bank a revenue neutral decision.
    For suppliers, the cost of carrying large inventories would have to be weighed against the cost of paying a negative interest rate. Either way, supply chains/suppliers will have to adapt to whatever hypothetical situation in their marketplace, because if they do not adapt their business will not survive.

  42. Emerson Bersaghi says:

    Great thing is that we live in a free country. Second great thing is that USA is an important partner of most countries. In this scenario, if the interest rate in USA is negative, you can find a better opportunity elsewhere. So, I don’t believe any negative rate would impact the way we do business.

    Another point… this was the government interest rate. I never saw a car loan or mortgage with negative APR. In practice, it never existed.

    This article is from 2016 and now, 4 years later, we already know what happen: nothing changed.

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