Interest rates are a fee that lenders charge borrowers for lending money. For example, homeowners are charged an interest rate on the mortgage they take from a bank.
Interest rates fluctuate based on a number of key factors, of which two of the most important are inflation and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve determines the interest rate charged between financial institutions via the federal funds rate, which is the key interest rate charged by commercial banks to other banks borrowing money, typically overnight.
By controlling interest rates, the Federal Reserve can control inflation in times of economic growth. The Federal Reserve can also modify interest rates to inject stimulus during an economic slowdown, as it did during three rounds of quantitative easing starting in late 2008.
By increasing interest rates during a period of economic growth, the Federal Reserve discourages borrowing. When interest rates are high, businesses and individuals generally take more time to consider the high cost to borrow before borrowing and spending.
By contrast, when the economy is underperforming, lowering the interest rate makes it cheaper for businesses and consumers to borrow. As a result, in theory, they spend more and stimulate economic growth.
By changing interest rates, central banks essentially change the demand for money. When the Federal Reserve pegs interest rates lower, the monetary policy is expanding—meaning money is cheaper. When interest rates are raised, it makes money more expensive and slows the rate at which the prices for goods and services increase.
U.S. Dollar Remains Weak Since Fed Minutes Release The U.S. dollar fell broadly against the major currencies as traders wait for clearer signals of where interest rates are headed from Federal Reserve officials later this week. The Wall Street Journal.
Former Fed Chief Sees “Stagflation” Threat If you’re confused about the future direction of U.S. interest rates, it’s probably better to pay attention to the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. He predicts that U.S. interest rates will.
Economy Close to Meeting Fed’s Target The central banks in Europe and Japan have adopted negative interest rate policies. Will the U.S. Federal Reserve do the same? According to the Fed’s second-highest-ranking official, the answer is “no.” During a speech.
T-Bills Sale Schedule Announced From August 22–26, the U.S. Treasury Department will auction off $175.0 billion worth of government bonds. Although the notes will be of varying maturities, they will all be available in minimum denominations of $100.00. Roughly $122.0.
Rate Hikes “Preferably Sooner Rather than Later” With economic data indicating strength in the U.S. economy, rate hikes are back on the table. This time, it’s the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams who is calling for interest.
Greenspan Hawkish on Interest Rates Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan gave an interview recently in which he predicted that higher interest rates were just around the corner. He gave a wide-ranging interview regarding monetary policy, including forecasts on central.
Spanish Bond Prices Rise 4.9% in 3 Months Despite being locked in middle of an epic political battle, Spanish government bonds continue to provide relative safety. Yields on the 10-year note dipped below one percent this month as investors clamored.
Japanese Banks Run Dry of Bonds to Sell The Bank of Japan (BoJ) appears to have hit a ceiling on its monetary policy. In its eagerness to absorb government bonds, the BoJ seems to have exhausted the supply of bonds.
Low Rate Expectations Keeping Dollar Depressed The U.S. dollar dropped to an eight-week low against the euro today on speculation that the Federal Reserve will continue to keep interest rates low, making the currency less attractive for investors to hold..
Will Portugal Earn the ECB’s Trust? Portugal’s credit rating came under fire this week as the country struggled to keep its Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Holding its creditworthiness above water is a necessary condition for the country to continue.