Podcasts in the Classroom - Current Events Edition: The Fed, Interest Rates and Inflation
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.
Here are some 2-4 minute Marketplace podcasts discussing these headlines.
- 4/13 Marketplace Just how high will interest rates go?
- 4/12 Marketplace Why taming inflation can take so long
- 4/7 Marketplace The Fed’s interest rate hike is already reducing demand for mortgages
Here are some relevant Marketplace Minute podcasts.
- 4/15 Morning Briefing US banks increasing reserves in case of economic downturn.
- 4/14 Closing Bell mortgage rates top 5%.
- 4/8 Midday Homebuyer interest drops in certain markets, and Bank of America joins Deutsche Bank in warning of elevated risk of recession.
- 4/6 Closing Bell Federal Reserve released minutes from March meeting, and Mortgage applications dropped to lowest level since 2019.
Also -- if you are looking for more ideas on incorporating the Fed and interest rates in your classroom, check out EconExtra: The Elusive “Soft Landing” and Potential for Inflation and EconExtra: All Eyes are on the Fed Balance Sheet.
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? (Try using mortgage rates and the housing market as an example.)
- How might current events (ex: war, supply chain issues, lockdowns in China, etc.) affect the Fed’s decision-making? How does it affect the public’s opinion on if the Fed is doing enough or too little?
- What role does consumer behavior play in driving actual inflation? (How long does it take people to change their behavior when prices increase?) What role do consumer expectations play?
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!