The net interest income of private households

In summer 2017, the ECB made a surprising move by releasing calculations on the net interest income of households in various EMU countries. According to the ECB's data, the income effects of the low interest rates were low in general (totaling up to 2% of GDP at the most), to the extent of being negligible in Germany. What is more, there were no signs of any pattern emerging with regard to the effects - with more positive effects on the (indebted) "south" of the continent and more negative effects on the (thrifty) "north".

TrendWatch: Beyond populism

Populist economic policies can boost growth and financial markets in the short term, but they also purport uncertainty and volatility. Populists’ disdain for checks and balances threatens to weaken pluralist democracies, while their predilection for facile solutions rarely results in sound policies.

Returns on private assets in selected EMU countries

In our latest report “Returns on private assets in selected EMU countries”, we investigate household savings behavior in nine European countries since 2003. In doing so, we are not only interested in the volume of savings but also in the contributions of investment income and value gains – the implicit yield on financial assets – before, during and after the crisis.

An interest rate model for the eurozone and the US

Our extended interest rate model offers possible explanations for key interest rates, money market rates and long-term interest rates in the eurozone and the US that offer a high level of adaptability to the actual developments.

Low real interest rates: Causes and outlook

Over the past few decades, inflation has been driven down both in the world's developed countries and on a global scale, so much so that fears of deflation now outweigh concerns about imminent inflation.

Monetary policy exit scenarios in the euro area and in the US

In order to combat the financial and euro debt crisis and achieve the degree of monetary expansion that is deemed appropriate, major central banks have not only nudged their key rates down to record lows touching on zero, but have also been experimenting with a number of new instruments. 

The risks of an appreciation of the euro

Where is the euro headed on the currency markets? Since mid-2012, our currency has gained no less than around 9% against the currencies of our 20 biggest trading partners - something that has raised a few eyebrows among forecasters given the lackluster growth in the euro zone and the ongoing debt crisis. It would appear that the market's trust in the future of the single currency has not evaporated after all. 

Yields in terra incognita

Earlier this month, US Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke disclosed to the financial markets that theFEDwould not be taking away the “punchbowl” any time soon, but would likely serve less punch.

Swiss National Bank dilemma - too much of a good thing

Looking across the financial market landscape, one is struck by the unusual circumstances of a central bank in a country whose currency is indeed robust and whose balance of payments is in order. Disconcertingly though, that same central bank exhibits at the very least a “non-zero” risk of incurring technical insolvency. The name of that somewhat problematic monetary institution is the Swiss National Bank (SNB).