Why Major Change in Fed's Interest Rate Policy Would Be Worrisome

Prior to the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in January, there was speculation about whether the Fed's monetary-policy arm would announce a shift in the benchmark rate away from the overnight rate it charges banks, to the interest paid on bank reserves. Economists at Bank of America (BAC) joined the speculation that the Fed may start pointing to the rate paid on reserves as its primary monetary-policy tool. While this might seem like inside-baseball for most Americans, the change could result in higher interest rates for your business or consumers loans and especially most credit cards that are now variable and reset based on the ups and downs of the prime rate.