Podcasts in the Classroom - Current Events Edition: The Fed, Interest Rates, and Inflation (Updated)
This week’s Podcasts in the Classroom uses a variety of shorter, readily available podcasts to introduce how the Fed raising interest rates in order to curb inflation impacts the economy. These recent headlines are aimed to inspire discussion.
Note: This post is an updated version of the Podcasts in the Classroom posted in mid-April and contains similar discussion questions from the previous version.
Here are some 2-4 minute Marketplace podcasts discussing these headlines.
- 5/3 Marketplace Anticipated Fed interest rate hike already being felt.
- 5/3 Marketplace The Federal Reserve plans to shrink its balance sheet. Here’s what that means.
- 5/4 Marketplace Why Fed might not be too upset when stocks fall.
Here are some relevant Marketplace Minute podcasts.
- 5/13 Morning Briefing A “soft landing” depends on things beyond Fed control
- 5/5 Morning Briefing The Fed does more than increase interest rates to try to control inflation.
- 5/4 Closing Bell The Fed increases interest rates by 50 basis points.
Determine how much time you want to devote to this activity, and select podcasts to provide students with background information.
Have students then tackle these discussion questions. This can be done individually, in groups, or as a class.
- How does the Fed use interest rates used to curb inflation? Why does it take awhile for an interest rate to have an impact?
- What other tool does the Fed have in its toolkit to help? How does that influence interest rates and ultimately, the price level?
- What factors outside of the Fed’s control are contributing to inflation and making their job more challenging? What role does consumer behavior play in this?
- From what you have heard, can you give an explanation for why stock prices have dropped?
Interested in learning more about the Fed? Be sure to check out the On-Demand Module “The Fed: Bank of Banks”.
If you use this assignment in your class, please let us know how it went!