Fearing the Fed

The debt burden on every man, woman and child in the developed world has climbed by $50,000 since 2000; that's 50,000 more reasons to fear a Fed rate increase.

Be afraid.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

However difficult it may be to parse the signals on what exactly the Federal Reserve will or won't say in its monetary policy report next week, it's worth trying. After all, the unelected academics at the world's central banks are firmly in control of both the global economy and the world's financial markets. These days, their actions dictate everything from how much your car loan costs to whether the stock market rises or declines.

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