U.S. Interest Rates & Inflation

Inflation is a nasty bug:

To reiterate, the last time Producer prices were this high, the Fed had rates up in the double digits — not at 2%…

Here’s a chart of the prime lending rate (as published by the WSJ) during “modern economic times” (each color change represents a rate change – click for larger view)…

prime-lending-rate

I’ll bet few running around today remember how ugly things were in the midsts of that mountain-in-the-middle. But Paul Volcker was scrambling (and let’s note that he has been more vocal as of late too).

Producer prices have been rising for a while, but they held off passing on costs to consumers. That game is over. So, the highly leveraged are getting killed by plummeting home prices and the savers are getting killed by just about everything else.

And you can thank your Federal Reserve for that.

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