The ideal interest rate for the US economy in current conditions would be minus 5 per cent, according to internal analysis prepared for the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting.Financial Times: Study puts ideal US interest rate at -5% (27 April 2009)
The analysis was based on a so-called Taylor-rule approach that estimates an appropriate interest rate based on unemployment and inflation.
A central bank cannot cut interest rates below zero. However, the staff research suggests the Fed should maintain unconventional policies that provide stimulus roughly equivalent to an interest rate of minus 5 per cent.
Fed staff separately estimated what size and type of unconventional operations, including asset purchases, might provide this level of stimulus. They suggested that the Fed should expand its asset purchases by even more than the $1,150bn (€885bn, £788bn) increase policymakers authorised at the last meeting, which included $300bn of Treasury purchases.
The assessment that the US central bank needs to provide stimulus equivalent to a substantially negative interest rate is unlikely to have changed ahead of this week’s policy meeting.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson