Currently, the fed funds rate is 0.50% and at historic lows since 2008. Pre-financial crisis, it tended to hover between 2% and 5%.

The last attempt by the Fed to normalize (i.e. raise) rates was nearly a year ago, back in December, 2015. The FOMC meets eight times per year to decide whether to try to change rates, or not. Not everyone agrees or thinks about monetary policy in quite the same way hence why we use the terms doves and hawks, as a way to personify their position on interest rates.

A dove is someone who wants to keep interest rates lower, in hopes of accelerating economic activity by a) making it cheaper for consumers and businesses to finance new purchases, and b) keep variable rate interest costs down for current borrowers, giving them extra cash to spend in other ways. The goal is to boost demand for labor, driving the unemployment rate downward.

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