What would you say if your broker called you and said something like, “Have I got a deal for you!” The broker explains that you can put your money in a three-month Treasury bill but you get no interest or any kind of return. And you may even have to pay to “invest” in T-bills — sort of like paying the bank for a safety deposit box to hold your cash.

“But you do get the comfort of safety and reassurance that you will get your money back, unlike investments in stocks or real estate or other areas,” the broker points out.

Not very attractive but that’s the reality today. It seems everyone wants to put their money in the safety of Treasury instruments and no one wants to put their money in commercial paper or corporate bonds that supplies funds for companies to operate and grow. So interest rates on Treasuries are at historic low levels, and people were still willing to buy four times as many T-bills as the government was offering at a recent auction.

Sounds like Japan, which has had miniscule interest rates for years . . . and little sign of economic growth. Maybe putting money under a mattress isn’t such a bad deal after all?