Insights   •   Fixed Income

Could the Fed Take Rates Negative?

Following a period of extreme turmoil in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve’s (Fed) swift response has alleviated liquidity challenges but now what? Within this hypothetical outlook, we briefly touch upon the additional untapped policy tools that remain for the Fed to draw upon and focus our analysis on the circumstances that might cause the Fed to implement negative interest rate policy (NIRP). In doing so, we draw on lessons learned from the European and Japanese experiences with negative rates. We believe there is value in recognizing the chain of events and observations that would lead the Fed to take it under more serious consideration. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) have stated that they are satisfied with their existing toolkit of forward guidance and quantitative easing (QE), while believing that negative rates are not currently attractive in the US.