Posted by: Dirk | January 9, 2012

Mark it zero

The FT reports that German 6-month bills have been issued with a negative yield:

Germany issued debt on Monday for the first time with a negative yield, meaning that investors were in effect paying Berlin for the privilege of lending it money.

A €4bn auction of six-month bills drew a negative yield of 0.0122 per cent in a sign of Germany’s haven status amid the eurozone debt crisis.

That contrasts nicely with the evaluation of the current economic situation by Dennis Snower of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, as reported by the NYT:

“Governments spend too much in good times, and they spend even more in bad times,” said Dennis J. Snower, president of the Institute for the World Economy in Kiel, Germany. “To have some constraints is a good idea.”

I guess I don’t even bother to ask on what kind of economics this evaluation is based on. The answer would be: none. This is 21st century rigorous economic thinking made in Germany (by the way: my own position is that of economists everywhere else: it depends.)

What a sad state, even for the dismal discipline.

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