Fed interest rate hike

When the Fed last raised rates

A detail from the front of the United States Federal Reserve Board building in Washington.
A detail from the front of the United States Federal Reserve Board building in Washington. PHOTO: REUTERS

June 29, 2006. Not quite a decade ago when the Fed last raised interest rates, but a world of changes since...

1. No one had heard of an iPhone

The Motorola Razr was the No. 1 mobile phone and the BlackBerry was "cutting edge". Smartphones did not exist. Apple would launch the iPhone the following year and go on to kill both brands.

2. Twitter was "TWTR", just two months old and not yet publicly launched

Facebook had fewer than 12 million users, and there was no Instagram, Snapchat or Uber.

3. American Idol was the No. 1 show on US TV

Justin Bieber was just an undiscovered 12-year-old kid in Canada making YouTube videos.

Kim Kardashian had just 856 friends on her MySpace page. Now, she has 37.8 million followers on Twitter.

4. Singapore had no casinos

The Government had just picked Las Vegas Sands to operate the new integrated resort at Marina Bay.

5. The Global Financial Crisis hadn't happened yet

But one month after the Fed's last rate rise, US housing prices peaked and then crashed. Its collapse ignited a financial panic that wiped out hundreds of banks, notably Lehman Brothers, nearly toppled the global financial system and sent the global economy into the worst recession since the 1930s.

The Fed would have to wait more than nine years before deciding to raise rates again.

SOURCE: YAHOO FINANCE, BBC

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 18, 2015, with the headline 'When the Fed last raised rates'. Print Edition | Subscribe