You’re getting less than $0.20 on a 1971 dollar. You can see the decline in my chart.
And based on the Fed’s rock-bottom interest-rate policy, there’s no reason to believe it’s getting any better. That’s why you want to study the Wall Street Journal op-ed by David Malpass. He writes:
Wednesday’s meeting result could have been worse. The Fed might have announced more purchases of U.S. Treasurys and mortgage securities. It already owns nearly $2 trillion worth and has no limit on its expenditures, which fall completely outside the federal budget. Bond traders have been pleading with the Fed to announce further purchases so they can buy first and score big profits.
Stopping Fed asset purchases would help growth by allowing market distortions to subside. It’s clear there’s been no benefit from the Fed’s unprecedented balance-sheet expansion, up 250% since 2008: no increase in private-sector credit (flat since 2009) and no impetus to the economy, which has been particularly weak in the quarters following Fed asset purchases.
Near-zero interest rates penalize savers and channel artificially cheap capital to government, big corporations and foreign countries. One of the most fundamental principles of economics is that holding prices artificially low causes shortages. When something of value is free, it runs out fast and only the well-connected get any. Interest rates are the price for credit and shouldn’t be controlled at zero. It causes cheap credit for those with special access but shortages for those without—primarily new and small businesses and those seeking private-sector mortgages.