This week’s class podcast uses a variety of shorter, readily available podcasts to show how the Fed is raising interest rates to curb inflation is impacting the economy. These recent headlines are meant to get the discussion going.

Here are some 2-4 minute Marketplace podcasts that discuss these headlines.

4/13 Marketplace How high will the interest rate go? 4/12 Marketplace Why taming inflation can take so long 4/7 Marketplace Fed rate hike is already reducing demand for mortgages

Here are some relevant Marketplace Minute podcasts.

4/15 Morning Briefing US banks increase reserves in the event of an economic downturn. 4/14 Closing Bell mortgage rate top 5%. 4/8 Afternoon Home buyer yields are falling in certain markets, and Bank of America joins Deutsche Bank in warning of heightened risk of a recession. 4/6 Closing Bell The Federal Reserve has released the minutes of its March meeting and mortgage applications have fallen to their lowest level since 2019.

If you’re looking for more ideas about including the Fed and interest rates in your classroom, check out EconExtra: The Elusive “Soft Landing” and Potential for Inflation and EconExtra: All Eyes on the Fed Balance Sheet.


Decide how much time you want to spend on this activity and select podcasts to give students background information.

Then have students address these discussion questions. This can be done individually, in groups or as a class.

How does the Fed use the interest rates used to curb inflation? (Try to take mortgage rates and the housing market as an example.) How might current events (eg war, supply chain problems, lockdowns in China, etc.) influence the Fed’s decision-making? How does it affect public opinion whether the Fed is doing enough or too little? What role does consumer behavior play in driving real inflation? (How long does it take for people to change their behavior when prices rise?) What role do consumer expectations play?

Want to know more about the Fed? Be sure to check out the On-Demand Module “The Fed: Bank of Banks”.

If you use this assignment in your class, let us know how it went!

About the Authors

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, where he did an internship through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team after graduating in 2020 to work full-time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes it accessible to educators on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. In his spare time, he enjoys trying coffee from different roasters around the world and trying out new brewing methods, although personal finance gurus tend to warn against buying a cup of joe.

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an MBA in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her early career in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint abroad. She took advantage of an involuntary divorce to try teaching high school math, something she’d always dreamed of. When fate intervened again, Beth seized the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop a curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now devotes her time to writing about personal finance and financial education, conducts workshops for students, and develops financial curricula and educational content. She is also treasurer of the Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

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