The zero-lower bound on interest rates: Myth or reality?
Unconventional monetary policy tools are based on the belief that there exists a zero-lower bound on interest rates. This paper argues, based on economic theory and the empirical evidence, that this belief is a myth and not a reality. It is shown that a negative default-free spot rate of interest is consistent with an arbitrage-free term structure evolution in a competitive and nearly frictionless market. It is not frictionless to the extent that consumers, firms, non-bank financial institutions, and banks have some realistic constraints imposed on their trading activities.
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