It’s curious that the suggestion by Paul Tucker, Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, that the Bank might impose negative interest rates upon banks should attract so much attention. There is, in truth, nothing new in the idea. Eminent economists such as Willem Buiter and Greg Mankiw floated it back in 2009; MPC minutes show that the idea has been discussed (and rejected) before; and, of course, negative interest rates in real terms are nothing new.
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