Over the past 15 years, aggregate credit card balances have been increasing, except for a brief spell in the aftermath of the 2007–09 financial crisis. Determining whether the growing balances are due to increased usage of credit cards as a method of payment or whether they reflect increased short-term borrowing is challenging because aggregate balances are snapshots of charges on credit cards before households make their monthly payments.
Staff analytical notes are short articles that focus on topical issues relevant to the current economic and financial context.
In 2009, the Bank of Canada set its effective lower bound (ELB) at 25 basis points (bps). Given the recent experience of Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and the euro area with negative interest rates, we examine the economics of negative interest rates and suggest that cash storage costs are the source of a negative lower bound on interest rates.
Foreign investment flows into Government of Canada (GoC) bonds have surged since the financial crisis. Our empirical analysis suggests that foreign flows of $150 billion lowered the 10-year GoC bond yield by 100 basis points between 2009 and 2012.