Miraculously, we have historical data on the evolution of interest rates in the Netherlands - arguably the birthplace of capitalism - dating back all the way to 1540. Yet during the past 476 years we have never experienced what we experience today: negative interest rates. After the European Central Bank (ECB) began charging negative interest rates to commercial banks (the central bank is the bank of banks), interest rates turned negative elsewhere as well. However, from the point of view of the ECB there exists an almost insurmountable hurdle: paper currency. The “war on cash” is about to erupt. This is what the ECB will (and can) do.

A (Brief) History of Bank Reserves


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