Why are rates so low?
Interest rates are market prices, which means they are a function of the supply and demand of bonds.
There is plenty of supply—the US is running a many-trillion dollar debt and needs to sell bonds to pay for it—but not enough to satisfy all the demand for its debt at higher interest rates.
Why are interest rates still so low?
The Federal Reserve lowers interest rates in order to stimulate growth during a period of economic decline. That means that borrowing costs become cheaper. A low interest rate environment is great for homeowners because it will reduce their monthly mortgage payment.
What happens when interest rates are too low?
The lower the interest rate, the more willing people are to borrow money to make big purchases, such as houses or cars. When consumers pay less in interest, this gives them more money to spend, which can create a ripple effect of increased spending throughout the economy.
What are the disadvantages of low interest rates?
Low Interest Rates and the Economy
Low interest rates also negatively affect people who live off the interest income from their savings, so they cut back their spending. When a large group of people, such as baby boomer retirees, reduce their spending, overall economic activity slows.
Why were interest rates so low in 2008?
The idea is that cuts to the federal funds rate lead to lower interest rates throughout the economy. When inflation gets out of control the Fed raises the federal funds rate, leading to higher interest rates and less spending throughout the economy.