Central Banks & short-term rates

If you like to “geek out” on economics like I do then you may also find this article interesting in today’s Washington Post.  In the article Chris Rugaber explains what impact short-terms rates has on the economy and why different central banks around the globe hold their short-term lending rates at different levels even though many of them face the same challenges.


Q: What effect do central banks have on me?

A: The Federal Reserve is the U.S. central bank. When it cuts (or raises) its benchmark short-term interest rate, most major banks follow suit by cutting (or raising) the interest rate they charge on credit cards, home equity lines of credit and other consumer loans.

The Fed has cut rates twice this month, potentially helping U.S. borrowers. Unfortunately, today’s steep cut by the Bank of England won’t reduce your car payment or mortgage, unless you’re reading this from England.