On December 17, 2008, in response to the financial crisis, the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) lowered the Fed Funds rate to essentially zero. (The rate, which had been coming down for more than a year, had been 2% in September.) When Fed Funds were set at zero, the financial crisis, which had reached its perihelion in late September-early October, was already on the mend. The recession, which had begun in December 2007, was two-thirds past. Nevertheless, Fed Funds have been kept at this unprecedentedly low level for almost seven years. The Federal Reserve has become entrapped in its own snare, with no clear exit.