DoubleLine's Gundlach says negative interest rates are a 'horror'

Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive and chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital, speaks at the Sohn Investment Conference in New York, May 5, 2014. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

VIENNA (Reuters) - Europe and Japan’s central bank policies of negative interest rates are a “horror” and will run counter to the desired effect, Jeffrey Gundlach, the widely followed investor who runs DoubleLine Capital, said in an interview with a Swiss newspaper.

Gundlach, who oversees $95 billion for Los Angeles-based DoubleLine, said negative rates would not help fight deflation but withdraw liquidity from the market because people would rather hoard cash than invest or deposit it in a bank account.

Negative interest rates “are the stupidest idea I have ever experienced,” the newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft quoted Gundlach as saying on its website on Saturday.

“The next major event (for financial markets) will be the moment when central banks in Japan and in Europe give up and cancel the experiment.”

Last year, Gundlach predicted that oil prices would plunge, junk bonds would live up to their name and China’s slowing economy would pressure emerging markets. In 2014, he correctly forecast that U.S. Treasury yields would fall, not rise as many others had expected.

Earlier this month, he said the Federal Reserve’s rate hike cycle looked “increasingly likely” to be a one-and-done scenario this year.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Hugh Lawson