Japanese Seeking a Place to Stash Cash Start Snapping Up Safes (WSJ, subscription required):
TOKYO—Look no further than Japan’s hardware stores for a worrying new sign that consumers are hoarding cash—the opposite of what the Bank of Japan had hoped when it recently introduced negative interest rates.
Signs are emerging of higher demand for safes—a place where the interest rate on cash is always zero, no matter what the central bank does. Cash languishing in safes could thwart the Bank of Japan’s move to get money circulating more vigorously in the economy.
Shimachu Co., which operates a chain of stores selling hardware and home products, said Monday that sales of safes in the week that ended Sunday were 2½ times higher than in the same period a year earlier.
Of course the Fed would never be so foolish as to institute a negative-rates policy in the hope of getting investors to prop up weakening securities markets. Right?