I just heard Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England make the following statement about the bank's ultra low interest rate policy and accusations that it disproportionately benefited the rich:

"on average those that have debts tend to be poorer than those that have savings which has meant that our monetary policy actions with interest rates have if anything shrunk the the degree of inequality in incomes between rich and poor."

This struck me as being wrong because its the rich home-owners that may borrow four or five times annual income, whereas the poor (non-home owners) would be hard pressed to ever borrow more than half a years wages.

Is there any published analysis that would justify (or refute) the Bank of England's claim?

  • $\begingroup$ It is complicated by many factors, including age. At any point in the income distribution there is a wide distribution in financial wealth, and on average the wealthiest age groups seems to be the about-to-retire and the recently retired (but they do not have similar incomes), so aged around 55 to 75. An IFS study seems to suggest in Figure 3.3 that on average those in the top 10% of incomes have the highest average financial wealth, which is not really a surprise $\endgroup$
    – Henry
    Dec 4, 2016 at 1:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related: economics.stackexchange.com/questions/12477/… $\endgroup$
    – Kitsune Cavalry
    Dec 5, 2016 at 14:56

2 Answers 2



That should fit your question.

Imho we have never seen these kind of interest rates, and It will be very entertaining to see how this works out.

Could lead to another black swan event, which is nothing you can calculate/prepare for.

  • $\begingroup$ Entertaining? Perhaps you meant interesting, but the meaning is very different. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Dec 3, 2016 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ I actually meant entertaining. These kind of low interest rates could accelerate drastic cultural/political/societal change. $\endgroup$ Dec 19, 2016 at 21:57
  • $\begingroup$ Some people just want to watch the world burn. $\endgroup$
    – Giskard
    Dec 19, 2016 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ @ReinhardDefoe accelerate drastic change, you say? 2022 called, and neo-Nazis are now a mainstream political force. Of course, this was also kind of the case in 2016. $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Jul 26, 2022 at 11:41

Just found this - answer is "the rich"



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