Imagine a world where you have to pay to deposit money into your bank account. As crazy as it sounds, if you live in the Eurozone or even in Japan, then you're already living in a region where this very scenario exists.

That's because a growing number of central banks have cut key interest rates below zero and depositors are now having to pay to keep their money in the central bank.

Called "negative interest rates", they're just what they sound like: people have to pay to have money deposited in a bank. 

While it mainly affects commercial banks which have traditionally earned interest on their money when they park it with the central bank, it now means banks will be charged more for leaving cash unused in the electronic vaults, rather than lending it to customers.

Megan Greene, the chief economist at Manulife Asset Management, joins Counting the Cost to discuss whether the unorthodox choice will help to reinvigorate the global economy.

Apple versus the FBI

A court order demanding Apple help the US government to unlock the encrypted iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters is having implications far beyond this one case.

Pitting law enforcement against civil liberties advocates, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is demanding that Apple help it to bypass security features of an iPhone recovered from Syed Rizwan Farook, who, along with his wife, Tashfeen Malik, killed 14 people in December 2015 during a mass shooting.

Apple CEO Tim Cook is fighting the order, calling it a "dangerous precedent". NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden called it the "the most important tech case in a decade", while civil liberties advocates have accused the US government of using the case to establish a dangerous legal precedent.

Ross Schulman, a senior policy counsel at the Open Technology Institute, joins the programme to discuss the Apple's fight with the FBI over encryption.

The hospitality business: Adapting to survive

While cockroaches, bad smells and poor service can ruin or destroy a hotel's reputation, tough trading conditions brought on by the 2008 global financial economic crisis have had the biggest impact on the hospitality industry.

The majority of large chain hotels have begun offering special discounts to lure in customers or have decided to change tack completely, but the Shangri-La Hotels, a chain with its roots firmly in Asia but growing internationally, has adapted its business to get people in the door.

Greg Dogan, the CEO and President of Shangri-La Hotels, joins the programme to discuss the future for the hotel industry in the face of intense competition.

Source: Al Jazeera