Last Wednesday's Federal Reserve decision to raise one of its benchmark interest rates, ending a multi-year period of near zero-level rates, by one-quarter-percentage point was the top economic story of the week. (Serious Fed-watching teachers can read the Fed's own press release announcing the change.)
How best to explain that hike, and its impact, to your students? Here are four resources.
1. This video clip (1:52) reports the news.
2. The Fed's action as a Rube Goldberg machine? Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer-Prize winning cartoonist who drew fanciful multi-step machines and inventions designed to perform often mundane tasks. Click here for examples. The New York Times built an actual Goldberg-inspired machine to explain what happens when the Fed raises rates. The video showing the machine's processes lasts 1:20. It is accompanied by a 10-step easy-to-follow explanation.
3. This video (1:31) from CNBC's On The Money show discusses how the Fed's action will impact credit card rates, auto loans, and decisions to buy/sell homes.
4. This USA Today story interviewed industry leaders to gauge the likely impact of the rate hike on housing, autos, construction, banks, and money-market mutual funds.
The Fed itself publishes a host of valuable educational materials, including a video (9:14) explaining how it operates. Separately, Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia and San Francisco make other publications available for teachers.