The United States Federal Reserve, the central bank of the nation, made the decision to maintain the federal funds rate at a target range of 5.25% – 5.5% following its October 31 to November 1, 2023, meeting. This decision has a global impact on the economy, and its repercussions are felt worldwide. How does it affect bank rates for savings accounts, certificates of deposit, mortgages, stocks, bond investors, borrowers, credit cards, and the U.S. federal government? Let’s delve into the impact, focusing on American investors and foreigners with banking or financial operations in the USA.
The Fed Reserve’s decision was a response to inflation falling to 3.7% year-over-year in September, after reaching a record 9% in mid-2022. The bank rate, the lending rate of the central bank to commercial banks, influences lending rates and, consequently, the nation’s economy. Generally, increasing the central rate aims to curb inflation, while a reduction signals increased liquidity.
How did maintaining the bank rate at 5.25%-5.5% impact various investments, borrowing, or the operations of the U.S. federal government? Let’s explore sector-wise.
The status quo of the federal rate benefits normal savings and CD holders due to lower inflation. Many banks may slightly increase their rates to retain customers. Online banks and large credit unions may offer better rates. Current interest rates from leading banks (as of November 9, 2023) include:
|Name of the Bank||APY as of November 9, 2023||Balance Required|
|Marcus (Goldman Sachs)||4.4%||0|
All the mentioned banks are FDIC members, providing federally managed insurance to protect certain balances, even in the event of bank failure, as witnessed during the recent economic crisis in the USA.
The highest interest-bearing savings account, as of now, is offered by Popular Direct at 5.4%, with a minimum balance of $100.
CDs, similar to Fixed Deposit Receipts in India, are primarily used as interest-bearing instruments for longer durations (1-3 years) by customers seeking financial stability.
Current CD rates (as of November 9, 2023):
|Name of the Bank||APY as of November 9, 2023||Period/Minimum Balance|
|Merrick Bank||5.67%||1 year/$25,000|
|Lending Club||5.65%||1 year/$25,000|
|Colorado Federal Savings Bank||5.55%||1 year/$5,000|
When considering CDs, it is advisable to research the banks, their past conduct, and whether they are FDIC insured.
Mortgage rates have decreased to 7.69%, down from the previous 7.95%, influenced by the downward movement of the 30-year mortgage rate. 10-year treasury yields affect mortgage rates, serving as a benchmark.
Current mortgage and refinance rates:
|Product||Interest %||APR (Annual % Rate)|
|30 YEAR FIXED RATE||7.83||7.84|
|20 YEAR FIXED RATE||7.76||7.78|
|15 YEAR FIXED RATE||7.12||7.15|
|10 YEAR FIXED RATE||7.13||7.16|
In case of refinance, the rates on the second column would read as 7.98%, 7.97%, 7.037%, and 7.17% (APR).
Historically, variations in stock prices during periods of near-zero bank rates differed from today’s scenario with high bank rates. New investments in stocks might not attract much attention, but some experts predict a climb in the S&P 500 index to an average of 4578, preferring value stocks over growth stocks.
Credit card interest rates may see variations with the Federal Reserve’s decision. Repaying high-cost card debt and utilizing zero percent or low-rate balance-transfer offers is advisable. Here are some recommended balance transfer credit cards:
|Credit Card||Best for|
|City Simplicity Card||Intro APR offer and no late fee|
|Discover it and Balance Transfer||Intro APR offer and rotating bonus|
|Wells Fargo Reflect Card||Intro APR offer and balance transfer beginners|
|Citi Diamond Preferred Card||Excellent credit|
|Wells Fargo Active Cash Card||Intro APR offer and 2% cash rewards|
|Citi Double Cash Card||Intro APR offer and good credit|
|Chase Slate Edge||Intro APR offer and payment incentives|
|Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card||Intro APR offer and flexible rewards categories|
|Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card||Intro APR offer and unlimited 1.5% cash back|
One example is the City Simplicity Card with a good-to-excellent credit rating, offering 0% intro for 18 months on balance transfers with a variable APR of 19.24% – 29.24% and a 2% rewards rate, all with no annual fee.
A detailed discussion on the historic deficits of the American government, the impact of bank rate variations, and the future of the U.S. economy due to its reliance on massive deficits has been ongoing for decades. Despite its deficits, the American economy, with its strong currency and creative manpower, remains the world’s leading economy.
The discussion on the increase in the U.S. Federal Reserve’s bank rate, a globally observed event, impacts various aspects of the U.S. and global economies. This analysis provides insights into how it affects the common man, investors, and others connected to the U.S. economy. References include the U.S. Federal Reserve website and Bankrate.com, a reliable source run by economic scholars.
Caution: This summary is not legal advice or economic guidance. Extensive reading and expert advice are recommended before making any decisions.