Fun with Fed Fund Rate Targets

Lots of chatter about the Federal Reserve Meeting next week. Initially there was some thought that there might be no rate cut in December, and then it quickly jumped to a 25-basis-point cut, and now a 50-basis-point is seemingly banked in. And there is even chatter of a possible 75-basis-point cut. Whew, how things change.

There is no real knowing what will happen, but I thought it might be fun to present some data on historical Federal Reserve targets. Here you go:

  • The largest single rate increase since 1990 is 75 basis-points (November 1994)
  • The largest rate decrease is 50 basis-points (4 times, most recently this fall)
  • The longest period with no rate change is 17 months (March 1997 – Sep 1998)
  • The most consecutive rate cuts is 7 (Dec 1990 – August 1991)
  • The most common meeting outcome is 0 (of course)


  1. We just had a 50 basis point cut this fall in the Fed Funds rate.