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The Federal Funds Rate is the interest rate that Federal Reserve uses to trade funds with banks. Changes in this rate can trigger a chain of events that can be beneficial or devastating to the economy. If a bank is charged a higher interest rate to trade money or take out a loan, then the increase will be passed on to their customers, causing them to pay higher transaction fees or more interest. Each month, the Federal Open Market Committee meets to determine the federal funds rate. This in turn affects other short term interest rates. The determining rate immediately impacts the rates at which banks borrow money and the interest rates the banks use to charge their customers on loans. If the rate raise is too high, then money flow drops dramatically and banks and customers curtail lending and borrowing, waiting until a better rate is reached. This effect can have a dramatic impact on the economy and economic spending.
Long term interest rates differ from short term interest rates in that they are not directly influenced by the Federal Funds target rate. Usually investors will want a …
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