Well then how 'bout this? Investors paying a premium to lend money to Germany. That's right, negative interest.
The auction of six-month German government bills on Monday produced a negative interest rate. Even the Federal Finance Agency, which manages Germany's debt, was astonished. "That has never happened before," said a spokesman.
The average rate amounted to minus 0.01 percent. The auction generated €3.9 billion ($4.9 billion). Demand for the securities was so high that the sale was 1.8 times oversubscribed.
In December, Germany had managed to place paper at a tiny interest rate of 0.001 percent in an auction that was 3.8 times oversubscribed. Germany isn't the first country to receive a premium from investors. Denmark too was recently able to auction bonds for which the government will have to pay back less than it borrowed.
Now, at minus 0.01%, you still have to hold on to that borrowed money a long, long time before you have to pay nothing back but in any circumstances you'll be paying back less than you borrowed.