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September 01, 2020 1:20pm
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Goldman Sachs CEO: Doesn’t see 1970-80s interest rates

Interest rates are climbing, driving prices higher for everything from homes to cars to credit cards. With the Federal Reserve on tap to raise rates further, how high can they go?

As the Federal Reserve prepares to make another decision on interest rates, market participants are in tune with the recent mandate telegraphed by policymakers to keep rates higher for longer. 

The 10-year Treasury yield is already hovering near 5%, a 16-year-high. Mortgage rates for a 30-year fixed are nearing 8%, new car loans are at 7.4% and used cars at 11.4%, as tracked by

Many are wondering how much higher rates may go and whether we could see levels like we had in the 1970s-80s, when the Federal Funds rate hit nearly 13% in 1974 and 19% in the 1980s, according to Federal Reserve data. 

In a FOX Business Network exclusive interview with Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon, he downplayed that likelihood. 

"I graduated from high school in 1980. So I, I remember those days. Well, I don't think we're going back to that. I don't think that's likely. But I do think that we are going to live in what's a more normalized environment and not an environment where money is free," he said during an appearance on FOX Business' "Cavuto: Coast to Coast."


The more normalized referenced by Solomon is likely where rates are right now, between 5.25-5.50%, he added. 

"I think there is a risk that rates could go higher. I do think inflation is going to be sticky. It's particularly present at the moment around labor. And so that has to have an effect that plays through," Solomon added, noting the Fed is currently "data dependent." 

Labor costs are rising with the UPS Teamsters recently securing a new five-year contract worth around $30 billion. This as the UAW is hammering out new contracts with Ford and Stellantis, while negotiations with GM remain in progress.


The Fed, on Wednesday, is expected to leave rates unchanged but likely leaving the door open for one more rate hike at the December meeting. 

Despite another likely rate hike, Solomon noted the U.S. economy can hold its own. 

"I think one of the great tailwinds we have as an economy is most Americans who own homes put themselves in long-dated mortgages that have fundamentally low rates locked in for a long time" he noted. 

As the Fed was cutting rates, many Americans had the opportunity to lock in a 30-year fixed mortgage rate or refinance as low as 2.68% in 2020.


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