Germany Gets Paid to Finance Its Own Debt

Posted January 9th, 2012 at 2:45 pm (UTC-5)
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Europe's economic powerhouse, Germany, is now getting paid to finance its own debts.

In the often arcane world of international finance, investors for months have forced debt-ridden governments throughout Europe — Greece, Italy, Spain and others — to pay hefty interest rates before they purchased the countries' bonds.

But Monday in the search for a safe haven for their cash, investors bought nearly $5 billion in six-month loans to Germany and agreed to pay the Berlin government for the privilege.

Rather than collecting interest on the loans, the investors will pay Germany .0122 percent interest on the bonds. It is the first time that Germany has sold bonds at a negative interest rate, although two other European countries, the Netherlands and Switzerland, have also done so recently.

Financial analysts say the German bond sale shows that investors view the country as the safest place to park their money at a time when European leaders are still trying to resolve the continent's two-year governmental debt crisis.