FAST FIVE: 40 Years Ago Today, An Armed Man Stormed The Fed, Furious About Soaring Inflation And High Rates

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It also marked the end of the 35-year-old great bond bear market of 1946-1981 and the start of the great moderation which some 40 years later would push real rates to record lows of -7%.

And while few may remember it today, it was December 8, 1981 – some 40-years-ago today – when an ominous event took place.

As the NYT reported on Dec 8, 1981, “a man complaining of the high interest rates and inflation threatened to take members of the Federal Reserve Board hostage today but was arrested without any shots being fired, a police spokesman said.” The police said that the man, identified as Jim von Brunn, went up to the second floor, where he threatened a security guard with a .38-caliber pistol.

Luckily, “the man was disarmed without any shots being fired” (there was a less happy ending less happy many years later when in 2009, long after he was released from jail and then 88-years-old, von Brunn entered the Holocaust Memorial in DC and fatally shot a museum guard.

van Brunn died a few months later from natural causes while awaiting trial.) Back in December 1981, CPI was 10%.

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