The Federal Reserve Board has a huge influence over short-term interest rates, but the Fed, and many economists, say the bond market itself still has the most influence over long-term rates.
Borrowers like low interest rates. Life insurers, which have huge pools of assets to invest, and many long-term annuity, long-term disability (LTD) insurance and long-term care insurance (LTCI) obligations to meet, tend to hate low rates. Low rates hurt their portfolio yields.
So, why are rates so very, very low?