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After decades of wielding power over national economies, nations’ central banks have spent much of their power.
Their power comes through their ability to adjust interest rates to nudge growth or restrain inflation.
Now many of these national banks have lowered interest rates to or near zero, or in some cases negative numbers, to boost growth and keep recession at bay. But nations’ economies have become so fragile that the banks can’t raise interest rates for fear of sparking inflation or lower them because the rates already are historically low.
Japan has had three recessions since 2008, but its central bank is keeping rates hovering just above or just below zero, giving it no additional leverage over the economy. Europe’s central bank is in the same position.

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