Skip to Main Content

From ‘lower for longer’ to ‘lower forever’? What do low interest rates mean for business?

June 20, 2016


View map

Today, the global economy sits in uncharted territory. Most of the world’s advanced economies find themselves with headline interest rates that are hovering at – or even below – zero. And the Bank of Canada has not ruled out the possibility of negative rates in the event of a significant economic shock, such as a sharp slowdown in China or another round of commodity price declines.

Perhaps more ominously, some analysts see this situation as becoming more or less permanent – from ‘lower for longer’ to ‘lower forever’. What are the causes? And, more importantly, what are the consequences of perpetually low interest rates?

In this interactive panel discussion, Ivey Associate Professor Tony Frost will discuss the impact of ultra-low interest rates on business and the economy. Then a panel including Frost; Paul Ferley, Assistant Chief Economist, RBC; and Satish Rai, Chief Investment Officer, Public Markets, OMERS Capital Markets, will consider the issue from a number of different perspectives, including:

  • An economy-wide view on the logic and effectiveness of negative rates as a monetary policy tool;
  • Implications for financial services companies such as banks, pension funds, and insurers; and,
  • The impact on firms outside the financial sector.

Learn what a world of perpetually low interest rates might mean for business and the economy.

Event Details

June 20, 2016, 7:30-9:30 a.m.

7:30-8 a.m. – Breakfast and registration
8-9 a.m. – Introduction and presentations from panellists
9-9:30 a.m. – Q&A

Location: Ivey’s Tangerine Leadership Centre, King & York St., Toronto

Tickets: $30 (non-alumni rate), $25 (alumni rate), $20 (student rate)

Topics you will explore

  • The logic – and limitations – of low and negative interest rates as a monetary policy tool to stimulate the economy
  • Implications for wealth managers and financial services companies
  • Implications for the non-financial sector

About the Speakers

Tony Frost, Associate Professor of Strategy and International Business, Ivey Business School

Tony Frost is Associate Professor of Strategy and International Business at the Ivey Business School. He completed his PhD in International Business at MIT.

Tony has been a member of the Ivey faculty since 1996 and was the director of the school’s MBA program in 2007-8. His interests and expertise revolve around strategy and competition in a global context. He has published articles on these topics in leading journals such as Harvard Business Review, Strategic Management Journal, and the Journal of International Business Studies.

Tony is currently Ivey’s Faculty Director of Executive Education for North America. In that role, he has developed and run programs for clients in a wide range of industries including financial services and insurance, utilities, energy, construction, aerospace, and tech.

Tony has been selected as the recipient of the Lawrence G. Tapp MBA Award for Teaching Excellence eight times, and has also been a recipient of the Ivey Teaching Innovation Award and the David G. Burgoyne Award for Outstanding Commitment to Student Development.

Paul Ferley, Assistant Chief Economist, RBC

As Assistant Chief Economist, Paul is responsible for the analysis and forecasting of macroeconomic and financial market developments in Canada, the U.S., and key overseas economies and is a regular contributor to a number of RBC publications.

A graduate of Queen’s University and the University of Manitoba, Paul joined the Economics Department of RBC in 2007 after working for 20 years at another major financial institution where he was responsible for generating the macroeconomic outlook for the U.S., Canada, and Canadian regional economies. He started his professional career as an economist in the Research Department at the Bank of Canada.

Paul is a member of the Economic Policy Committee of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and former member on the Editorial Board of Canadian Public Policy/Analyse de politiques. He is also Past President and Director of the Toronto Association of Business and Economics (TABE).

Satish Rai, Chief Investment Officer, Public Markets, OMERS

Satish Rai was appointed Chief Investment Officer, Public Markets in January 2015. In this role, he is responsible for all publicly-traded asset classes in the OMERS pension fund portfolio. He is also accountable for the strategy to ensure the OMERS Capital Markets business consistently delivers the required investment returns, while effectively managing investment risk.

A 30-year veteran of the investment sector, Satish's career includes extensive experience in active equity and fixed income portfolio management. Prior to joining OMERS, he served as Chief Investment Officer at TD Asset Management, overseeing $250 billion in assets under management. At TDAM Satish also acted as Chair of the Committee of the Advancement of Visible Minorities in Leadership Roles and a member of the Diversity Leadership Council.

He holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He has previously been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 40 Industry Leaders Under 40, and in 2006 he received the Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics.

Satish is actively involved in the community, including through service on the Board of Governors, Finance Committee and Investment Committee of the University of Waterloo and as a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization/World Presidents’ Organization. He is also a past member of the boards of the Toronto East General Hospital Foundation and Women in Capital Markets.


$30 (non-alumni), $25 (alumni), $20 (current students)


  • Faculty
  • Ivey Idea Forum
  • Tony Frost