Inflation has been pretty benign over the last 20 years, right? The U.S. Consumer Price Index has ranged from negative 0.4% in 2009 to a high of 3.8% in the awful 2008 economic year. In 13 of those 20 years, the CPI was below 2.5%, which is hardly comparable to the double-digit inflation rates that people experienced in the 1970s and 1980s.
The U.S. Federal Reserve Board’s Open Market Committee just raised the Fed Funds rate from 0.75% to 1.00%—the second rate hike in three months. So what should you do with your investment portfolio in light of this change?
A term you’re likely to be hearing more of in economic reports is “helicopter money,” which might replace “QE” in our lexicon of Central Bank policy terms.
What is it? “Helicopter Money” basically means dropping money out of the sky; the term is shorthand for a government printing money as a way to stimulate the economy, pay down government debt, create inflation as a protection against a threat of deflation—or all three.