Living with the Lowest Interest Rates in History

August 21, 2018

Living with the Lowest Interest Rates in History

By Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg

How low are interest rates? They are “the lowest in history, from the Code of Hammurabi to Babylon civilization, Greek and Roman civilization, the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early modern history, right up until the present. I can assure listeners that the rates we have now are the lowest in human history.” 

So says this week's guest on "Masters in Business," Richard Sylla, professor emeritus of economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business, and author of several books, most notably “A History of Interest Rates.” He says rates during the past decade simply have no precedent.

These are not the rantings of a gold bug or foe of the Federal Reserve. Sylla has spent his career studying and teaching financial history. A professor at NYU since 1990, he is also chairman of the Museum of American Finance, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum's mission is to preserve, exhibit and teach about US financial history.