The Federal Reserve signaled on Wednesday that it would increase rates for the first time in more than three years as part of a wider adjustment of exceptionally loose monetary policy. The Fed’s policy making panel announced that a quarter-percentage-point hike in its standard short-term interest rates is expected to happen soon, in a move that came as no surprise. Inflation is at its highest level in over 40 years, prompting the committee’s announcement. Though the Fed’s shift toward less accommodating policy has been widely anticipated in recent weeks, markets have been unusually bumpy in recent days as investors fretted that the Fed will tighten policy considerably more than expected.
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