Chronology of Significant Events

The following summary lists economic, political, and natural developments which have influenced California economic indicators, and may account for unusual movements in the series. Appraisal of the charts will be facilitated in many cases by taking into consideration those factors which may be contributing to temporary directional changes in business activity which are not indicative of significant changes in the economic situation of the State. In addition, major national events of general interest have also been included.

Year
1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970
1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985
1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000
2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012

March 1 Minimum wage of $1 per hour in effect.
April 13 Discount rate raised from 2-½ percent to 2-¾ percent.
June 1 Guaranteed annual wage plan put into effect for GM, Ford, Chrysler workers.
July 1-27 Steel strike. Settled by 3-year, no-strike contract.
August 24 Discount rate raised from 2-¾ percent to 3 percent.
December 4 FHA interest rate on insured mortgages up from 4-½ percent to 5 percent.
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1957
January 1 Commercial banks authorized to increase interest rate on savings accounts from 2-½ percent to 3 percent.
August 5 FHA down payments required on FHA-insured home mortgages decreased. Maximum interest rates up from 5 percent to 5-¼ percent.
August 3-23 Discount rate raised from 3 percent to 3-½ percent. Highest rate since 1934.
November 15 Discount rate cut from 3-½ percent to 3 percent.
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1958
January 15 Stock margin requirements cut from 70 percent to 50 percent.
January 21 Discount rate reduced from 3 percent to 2-¾ percent.
February 27 Commercial bank reserve requirements reduced by ½ percent to 19-½ percent of net demand deposits. Further cuts in 1958:
March 20:  ½ percent to 19 percent;
April 17:   ½ percent to 18-½ percent;
April 24:   ½ percent to 18 percent.
March 6 Discount rate cut from 2-¾ percent to 2-¼ percent. Lowest rate since November 1955.
April 18 Discount rate lowered from 2-¼ percent to 1-¾ percent.
August 5 Stock margin requirements raised from 50 percent to 70 percent.
August 11 -
September 17
Teamster strike, 11 western states.
August 15 Discount rate increased from 1-¾ percent to 2 percent.
September 17-29 UAW-Ford strike.
October 2-28 UAW-GM strike.
October 16 Stock margin requirements raised from 70 percent to 90 percent, highest level in 11 years.
October 24 Discount rate raised from 2 percent to 2-½ percent.
November 21 -
December 7
Airline strikes. One-third passenger aircraft in U.S. grounded November 24.
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1959
March 6 Discount rate raised from 2-½ percent to 3 percent.
May 29 Discount rate raised form 3 percent to 3-½ percent.
July 15 -
November 7
116-day steel strike. Kaiser contract signed October 26. Taft-Hartley injunction invoked November 7.
August 7 -
September 1
Teamster strike. SF-Bay Area.
August 24 -
October 22
West Coast shipyard strike.
September 11 Discount rate raised from 3-½ percent to 4 percent.
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1960
June 3 Discount rate lowered form 4 percent to 3-½ percent.
June 17-23 Longshoremen's strike, Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor. Continued August 13-27, 1960.
July 28 Stock margin requirements cut from 90 percent to 70 percent.
August 12 Discount rate lowered from 3-½ percent to 3 percent.
September 1 Commercial bank reserve requirements against demand deposits cut by ½ percent to 17-½ percent. Further reduction December 1 to 16-½ percent.
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1961
February 17-23 National airline strike.
March 9-13 California dock strike by Teamsters.
May 5 Minimum wage legislation signed: $1.15 for 2 years, $1.25 thereafter.
June 16 -
July 4
National maritime strike. Strike resumed September 28-October 12 against owners of 1/3 West Coast merchant fleet.
August 11 Duty exemption for U.S. travelers returning from abroad cut from $500 to $100.
August 26 American Motors Corporation-UAW profit-sharing pact announced.
September 6-24 UAW-GM strike.
October 3-15 UAW-Ford strike.
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1962
January 1 Federal Reserve Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation authorize commercial banks to raise interest rates to 3-½ percent on all savings and time deposits to 6 months or longer, and to 4 percent on deposits of 1 year or more.
March 16 -
April 11
West Coast maritime strike.
May 1 -
June 26
Northern California construction strike. Southern California strike, June 18-27. San Diego strike, June 21-July 10.
May 28 "Blue Monday." Dow Jones industrial average down 34.95 points, sharpest drop since October 28, 1929. Week of May 21-25: average down 38.82, largest one-week decline on record.
July 10 Stock margin requirements cut from 70 percent to 50 percent.
July 11 Revision of depreciation schedules announced by Treasury.
October 18 Commercial bank reserve requirements against time deposits reduced from 5 percent to 4 percent.
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1963
June 5 Silver backing for Treasury silver certificates removed to ease pressure on silver prices. Sale of silver from Treasury stockpile started September 12.
July 17 Discount rate raised from 3 percent to 3-½ percent.
November 5 Stock margin requirements raised form 50 percent to 70 percent.
November 22 President Kennedy assassinated.
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1964
February 26 Federal income tax cut measure signed into law. Reflected in withholding rates effective March 5. Individual tax rates cut form 20 percent-91 percent range to 14 percent-70 percent range. Corporation reduction to 48 percent from 52 percent.
September 25 -
November 8
UAW strike against GM.
November 23 Discount rate increased from 3-½ percent to 4 percent.
December 22-24 Northern California floods.
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1965
March 1-23 Strike by steel workers at American and continental can companies.
June 16 -
August 7
Northern California construction strikes.
June 17 -
July 19
Southern California construction strike.
August 11-17 Los Angeles riots, Watts area.
December 6 Discount rate raised from 4 percent to 4-½ percent.
December 13 Permitted interest savings accounts raised from 4-½ percent to 5-½ percent under Regulation Q.
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1966
January 1 Increased social security taxes in effect.
February 8 FHA interest rate raised form 5-º percent to 5-½ percent, no change in ½ percent loan insurance rate.
March 11 Prime rate raised from 5 percent to 5-½ percent in Eastern financial markets.
March 16 Auto excise tax raised from 6 percent to 7 percent.
April 1 Telephone excise tax of 10 percent reinstated.
April 12 FHA interest rate increased from 5-½ percent to 5-¾ percent.
May 1 Increased withholding tax rates in effect.
June 30 Prime rate raised from 5-½ percent to 5-¾ percent in New York, Chicago.
July 8 -
August 20
Airline strike.
August 16 Prime rate up to 6 percent, Eastern cities.
October 3 FHA interest rate raised from 5-¾ percent to 6 percent.
October 10 Suspension of 7 percent investment credit and accelerated depreciation allowance.
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1967
January 26 Prime rate lowered from 6 percent to 5-½ percent.
January 27 Apollo fire and death of three astronauts.
February 1 Minimum wage increased to $1.40 from $1.25 per hour.
March 9 Investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation allowance reinstated.
April 7 Discount rate lowered from 4-½ percent to 4 percent.
April 29 SST program given Presidential approval.
April 21 -
July 26
Rubber strike.
July 15 -
March 20, 1968
Copper strike.
August 30 Steel price rises announced.
September 6 -
October 25
UAW strike against Ford.
November 20 Discount rate raised from 4 percent to 4-½ percent. Prime rate increased from 5-½ percent to 6 percent.
December 15 Los Angeles (Herald Examiner) newspaper strike.
December 27 Increase of ½ percent in reserve requirements announced. Effective in two stages during January 1968.
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1968
January 1 Wage base for social security contributions raised form $6,600 to $7,800.
January 5 -
February 25
San Francisco newspaper strike.
February 1 Minimum wage increased to $1.60 from $1.40 per hour.
March 1 Increase in social security benefit payments, averaging 13 percent.
March 15 Discount rate raised from 4-½ percent to 5 percent. San Francisco increase effective March 18; New York up March 22. Highest level since 1929.
March 15 -
April 1
Trading in London gold market suspended. Two-price system for gold effective March 18 by London gold pool countries.
April 1 Personal income tax surcharge. See June 28.
April 1 -
June 13
San Francisco area machinists and electrical workers strike.
April 19 Discount rate raised to 5-½ percent. Prime rate increased from 6 percent to 6-½ percent.
April 19 -
May 6
Telephone strike strike by Communications Workers of America.
May 7 FHA interest rate raised from 6 percent to 6-¾ percent.
May 16 UAW suspended form AFL-CIO.
June 8 Stock margin requirements raised from 70 percent to 80 percent.
June 28 Tax surcharge and $6 billion federal spending cut legislation signed by President Johnson. 10 percent surcharge retroactive to April 1 for individuals, January 1 for corporations.
July 15 Increased personal income tax withholding in effect.
August 16-29 Federal reserve discount rate lowered from 5-½ percent to 5-¼ percent.
September 25 Prime rate lowered from 6-½ percent to 6 percent by Chase Manhattan. (Subsequent reduction by other banks to 6-¼ percent. Chase Manhattan rate raised to 6-¼ percent effective November 13.)
December 2 Prime rate raised from 6-¼ percent to 6-½ percent.
December 18 Federal reserve discount rate raised from 5-¼ percent to 5-½ percent. Prime rate raised from 6-½ percent to 6-¾ percent.
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1969
January 1 Social security contribution rate increased to combined 9.6 percent.
January 7 Prime rate raised from 6-¾ percent to 7 percent.
January 24 FHA interest rate raised from 6-¾ percent to 7-½ percent.
March 17 Prime rate raised from 7 percent to 7-½ percent.
April 3 Discount rate raised from 5-½ percent to 6 percent; reserve requirement raised.
June 9 Prime rate raised from 7-½ percent to 8-½ percent.
June 12 Required liquidity reserves of savings and loan associations lowered from 6-½ percent to 6 percent.
October 27 -
February 1970
General Electric strike.
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1970
January 1 Personal income tax surcharge reduced to 5 percent. Withholding cut.
January 5 FHA interest rate raised from 7-½ percent to 8-½ percent.
January 21 Increased schedule of interest rates on time deposits and certificates of deposit in effect.
March 25 Prime rate reduced from 8-½ percent to 8 percent.
April 2 -
June 2
Teamster strike.
May 6 Stock margin requirement cut from 80 percent to 65 percent.
July 1 Personal income tax surcharge removed.
September 14 -
November 23
UAW strike against GM.
September 22 Prime rate reduced from 8 percent to 7-½ percent.
November 10 Discount rate reduced from 6 percent to 5-¾ percent.
November 12 Prime rate reduced from 7-½ percent to 7-¼ percent.
November 23 Prime rate reduced from 7-¼ percent to 7 percent.
December 1 Discount rate reduced from 5-¾ percent to 5-½ percent. FHA interest rate reduced from 8-½ percent to 8 percent.
December 20 13-week extended duration unemployment benefits in effect.
December 22 Prime rate reduced from 7 percent to 6-¾ percent.
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1971
January 6 Prime rate reduced from 6-æ percent to 6-½ percent.
January 8 Discount rate reduced from 5-½ percent to 5-¼ percent.
January 12 FHA interest rate reduced from 8 percent to 7-½ percent.
January 15 Prime rate reduced from 6-½ percent to 6-¼ percent.
January 18 Prime rate reduced from 6-¼ percent to 6 percent.
January 19 Discount rate reduced from 6-¼ percent to 5 percent.
February 4 Rolls Royce bankruptcy announced.
February 9 Los Angeles earthquake.
February 12 Discount rate reduced from 5 percent to 4-¾ percent.
February 16 Prime rate reduced from 6 percent to 5-¾ percent.
February 23 Davis Bacon Act regulating construction wages on Federal projects suspended. Suspension revoked on March 29. Wage-price curbs ordered.
March 16 Prime rate reduced from 5-¾ percent to 5-½ percent.
March 17 Social security bill signed. Benefits raised 10 percent, retroactive to January 1, 1971. Contribution base raised to $9,000 effective January 1, 1972.
March 25 SST program terminated.
April 1 Interest rates on savings accounts in California banks generally reduced from 4-½ percent to 4 percent.
April 23 Prime rate raised from 5-¼ percent to 5-½ percent.
May 1 Liquidity ratio for savings and loan associations raised from 6-½ percent to 7-½ percent.
May 17-18 Rail strike.
June 1 -
July 27
Communications workers strike against Western union.
June 15-21 Prime rate increased from 5-½ percent to 5-¾ percent. General rise to 6 percent on July 7.
June 29 -
July 16
Northern California construction strike.
July 1 -
October 6
West Coast dock strike.
July 14 -
August 2
Telephone strike.
July 15 Discount rate raised from 4-¾ percent to 5 percent.
July 16 -
August 2
Rail strike.
July 31 Steel strike averted by accord on contract.
August 2 Lockheed loan guarantee approval.
August 3 Teamsters walkout in Northern California against building contractors.
August 15 -
November 13
President's economic policy message; 90-day wage-price freeze in effect.
October 1 East and Gulf Coast longshoremen's strike.
October 20 Prime rate reduced from 6 percent to 5-¾ percent. Further reduction to 5-½ percent on November 4.
November 11 Discount rate reduced from 5 percent to 4-¾ percent.
November 14 Phase II of NEP in effect.
December 6 Stock margin requirements cut from 65 percent to 55 percent.
December 10 Revenue Act of 1971 signed into law.
December 13 Discount rate reduced from 4-¾ percent to 4-½ percent. Prime rate lowered from 5-½ percent to 5-¼ percent.*  Intent to devalue U.S. dollar announced.
* Adoption of a floating prime rate in November 1971 has resulted in frequent minor adjustments in the rate. Information on the range of rates at any one time and the rate charged by the majority of commercial banks may be obtained from the Federal Reserve Bulletin.
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1972
January 17 -
February 20
West Coast dock strike continued.
February 1-15 Kaiser Steel Company strike.
July 1 20 percent increase in social security benefits signed into law. Effective September.
September 11 Opening of BART Fremont-Oakland line.
September 21 "Friends of Mammoth" decision.
November 24 Stock margin requirements raised 65 percent.
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1973
January 11 Phase III of NEP in effect.
January 15 Discount rate raised from 4-½ percent to 5 percent.
January 27 Vietnam cease fire signed.
January 29 Opening of BART Richmond-Oakland line.
February 12 10 percent devaluation of U.S. dollar announced.
March 2 Major foreign currency exchanges closed.
March 29 Price controls of meat announced.
April 9-13 Consumer meat boycott.
April 23 Discount rate raised from 5-½ percent to 5-¾ percent.
May 10 Discount rate raised from 5-¾ percent to 6 percent.
June 11 Discount rate raised from 6 percent to 6-½ percent.
June 14 60-day price freeze announced.
July 2 Discount rate raised from 6-½ percent to 7 percent. Increased reserve requirement on net demand deposits.
July 6 Interest rates increased:
FHA mortgage rate:  7 percent to 7-¾ percent;
bank savings rate:  4-½ percent to 5 percent;
savings and loan rate:  5 percent to 5-¼ percent.
July 18 Phase IV announced.
August 27 Prime rate at 9-¾ percent in major institutions.
October 17 Arab nations announce reductions in oil shipment.
November 5 -
December 18
TWA strike.
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1974
January 3 Stock margin requirements cut from 65 to 50 percent.
February 1-11 Independent truckers strike, Midwest and East Coast.
February 15 Prime rate reduced to 9 percent.
February 22 Prime rate reduced to 8-¾ percent.
March 4 California minimum wage increased to $2.00 per hour from $1.65.
March 18 Arab oil embargo lifted.
March 27 Prime rate increased to 9 percent from 8-¾ percent.
March 28 Prime rate further increased to 9-½ percent.
April 25 Federal Reserve raised discount rate to 8 percent from 7-½ percent.
April 29 Prime rate up to 10-¾ percent.
April 30 Phase IV controls lifted in approximately 165 sectors of the economy.
June 17 -
August 4
San Diego construction strike.
June 17 -
July 21
Northern California construction strike.
July 1 -
Mid-August
Southern California construction strike.
July 1 Transit strikes, San Francisco Bay Area.
August 2 -
October 21
Los Angeles area transit strike.
August 8 Resignation of President Nixon announced.
August 14 FHA mortgage rate raised to 9-½ percent.
Prime rate reduced from 12 percent to 11-¾ percent on limited basis. Prevailing rate on date of major changes:
October 21: 11-½ percent
October 28: 11-¼ percent
November 4: 11 percent
November 14: 10-¾ percent
November 25: 10-½ percent
October 8 Prime rate reduced from 12 percent to 11-¾ percent by several more large banks.
November 12 -
December 9
Coal strike.
December 9 Discount rate reduced from 8 percent to 7-¾ percent.
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1975
January 6 Federal Reserve discount rate cut from 7-¾ percent to 7-¼ percent.
January 10 Oil Chemical Atomic Workers Union strike.
January 13 Prime rate reduced to 10 percent. Further major cuts as follows:
January 21:  9-¾ percent
January 31:  9 percent
February 6:  8-¾ percent
February 19:  8-½ percent
March 3:   8-¼ percent
March 8:  8 percent
January 21 FHA mortgage rate reduced from 9 percent to 8-½ percent.
February 5 Federal Reserve discount rate cut from 7-¼ percent to 6-¾ percent.
March 10 Federal Reserve discount rate cut from 6-¾ percent to 6-¼ percent.
March 24 Prime rate reduced to 7-½ percent by most major banks.
March 25 King Faisal assassinated.
March 29 Tax reduction act signed into law.
May 19 Prime rate reduced to 7-¼ percent by several major banks.
June 10 Prime rate reduced to 7 percent by most banks.
July 18 Prime rate increased to 7-¼ percent. Further gains as follows:
July 25:  7-½ percent
August 11:  7-¾ percent
September 15:  8 percent
September 1 National Airlines strike.
October 16 Reserve requirement on time deposits reduced from 3 percent to 1 percent.
October 24 Prime rate reduced to 7-¾ percent. Further reductions as follows:
October 31:  7-½ percent
November 21:  7-¼ percent
December 5-19 United Airlines strike.
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1976
January 12 Prime rate lowered to 7 percent.
January 19 Federal Reserve discount rate lowered from 6 percent to 5-½ percent.
January 21 Prime rate reduced to 6-¾ percent.
April 1-3 Teamsters strike.
April 9 -
June 4
Prime rate moving upward, 6-¾ percent to 7-¼ percent at most major banks.
April 21 Rubber workers strike.
July 20 -
August 2
Cannery workers strike.
August 2 Prime rate reduced to 7 percent. Further reductions as follows:
October 4:  6-¾ percent
October 29:  6-½ percent
December 10:  6-¼ percent
September 15 -
October 13
Auto workers strike.
October 18 California minimum wage raised to $2.50 per hour.
December 22 Prime rate reduced to 6 percent by Chase Manhattan Bank. Most banks maintain a prime rate of 6-¼ percent.
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1977
May 16 Prime rate raised to 6-½ percent.
May 31 Prime rate raised to 6-¾ percent.
August 22 Prime rate raised to 7 percent.
August 30 Federal Reserve discount rate raised from 5-¼ percent to 5-¾ percent, the first increase since April 1974.
September 16 Prime rate raised to 7-¼ percent.
October 1 -
November 24
Longshoremen's strike against East and Gulf Coast ports.
October 7 Prime rate raised to 7-½ percent.
October 10 -
January 4
IAM-Lockheed strike.
October 24 Prime rate raised from 7-½ percent to 7-¾ percent.
October 26 Discount rate raised from 5-¾ percent to 6 percent.
December 6 -
March 24
United Mine Workers strike.
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1978
January 1 U.S. minimum wage increased to $2.65 per hour.
January 9 Discount rate raised from 6 percent to 6-½ percent.
January 10 Prime rate raised to 8 percent.
February 28 FHA mortgage rate raised from 8-½ percent to 8-¾ percent.
April 1 California minimum wage increased from $2.50 to $2.65 per hour.
May 4 Prime rate raised from 8 percent to 8-¼ percent.
May 8 California savings and loan associations raised mortgage rates from 9-¾ percent to 10 percent.
May 12 Discount rate raised to 7 percent.
May 23 Federal funds rate increased to 7-½ percent.
May 26 FHA-VA mortgage rate raised from 8-¾ percent to 9 percent.
June 6 Proposition 13 approved by California voters.
June 16 Prime rate raised to 8-¾ percent.
June 20 OPEC announced a freeze on crude oil prices until December 16.
June 22 Federal funds rate raised from 7-½ percent to 7-¾ Percent.
June 29 FHA-VA mortgage rate raised to 9-½ percent.
June 30 Prime rate raised to 9 percent.
July 10 Discount rate raised to 7-¼ percent.
July 18 Teamsters union strike affecting supermarkets throughout Northern California.
August 20 Retail clerks union strike in Southern California.
August 21 Discount rate raised to 7-¾ percent.
August 29 Federal funds rate raised from 8-⅛ percent to 8-¼ percent.
August 31 Prime rate raised by some eastern banks from 9 percent to 9-¼ percent.
September 15 Prime rate raised to 9-½ percent.
September 22 Discount rate raised from 7-¾ percent to 9-¾ percent.
September 28 Prime rate raised from 9-½ percent to 9-¾ percent.
October 12 Prime rate raised form 9-¾ percent to 10 percent.
October 15 Tax cut and energy bills passed by Congress.
October 16 Discount rate raised from 8 percent to 8-½ percent.
October 18 Federal funds rate raised from 8-¾ percent to 8-⅞ percent.
October 24 Prime rate raised from 10 percent to 10-¼ percent.
California mortgage rates raised from 10 percent to 10-¼ percent at several savings and loan institutions.
October 24 Phase II announced: voluntary guidelines on wages and prices.
November 1 Discount rate raised from 8-½ percent to 9-½ percent.
Prime rate raised to 10-½ percent.
November 3 Prime rate raised from 10-½ percent to 10-¾ percent.
November 13 Prime rate raised from 10-¾ percent to 11 percent.
November 24 Prime rate raised to 11-½ percent.
November 27 Federal funds rate raised from 9-¾ percent to 9-7/8 percent.
December 4 Rollover for 6-month certificates of deposit (CDs) began this week.
December 19 Federal funds rate raised to 10 percent.
December 20 Prime rate raised to 11-¾ percent.
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1979
January 1 U.S. minimum wage increased to $2.90 per hour.
January 13 Prime rate reduced to 11-½ percent.
March 15 Terms for MMCs changed. ¼ point differential over 9 percent eliminated.
March 27 OPEC price increases 9 percent. Selected surcharges imposed.
March 31 United Airlines-machinist strike.
April 1-10 Teamsters strike.
May 7 Prime rate moved to 11-¾ percent from 11-½ percent.
May 19 Federal funds rate set at 7-¼ percent.
May 26 United Airlines strike ended.
May 30 Interest rate on conventional mortgages raised to 11-¾ percent.
June 12 Prime rate reduced to 11-½ percent.
July 1 Interest rates on passbook accounts up to 5.5 percent at Savings and Loans and 5.25 percent for banks.
July 20 Discount rate raised from 9-½ percent to 10 percent.
August 16 Discount rate raised to 10-½ percent.
August 24 Federal funds rate raised from 11 percent to 11-¼ percent.
August 26 -
September 10
Los Angeles Rapid Transit District strike.
August 28 Prime rate raised from 12 percent to 12-¼ percent.
August 31 -
November 21
BART strike.
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1980
February 25 Prime rate raised to 16-½ percent.
February 27 Ceilings on interest rates for government-backed mortgages raised to 13 percent.
February 29 Prime rate raised to 16-¾ percent.
March 4 Prime rate raised to 17-¼ percent.
March 7 Prime rate raised to 17-æ percent.
March 13 Prime rate raised to 18-º percent.
March 14 Announcement to tighter fiscal policies.
March 18 Prime rate raised to 19 percent.
April 2 Prime rate raised to 20 percent.
April 3 FHA mortgages raised to 14 percent.
April 20 Primer rate reduced to 19-½ percent.
April 28 FHA mortgages reduced to 13 percent.
Prime rate reduced to 18-½ percent.
May 5 Prime rate reduced to 18 percent.
May 7 Prime rate reduced to 17 percent.
May 12 Prime rate reduced to 16-½ percent.
May 19 Prime rate reduced to 16 percent.
May 28 Discount rate lowered to 12 percent from 13 percent.
June 4 Prime rate reduced to 13 percent.
June 12 Discount rate lowered to 11 percent. Prime rate reduced to 12-½ percent.
June 20 Prime rate reduced to 12 percent.
June 24 Prime rate reduced to 11-½ percent. Some conventional mortgage rates fell to 12 percent.
June 25 Carpenters strike in Northern California ended.
July 3 ICC begins trucking industry deregulation.
July 21 Motion picture and television industry strike.
July 22 Prime rate reduced to 11 percent.
July 25 Prime rate reduced to 10-¾ percent.
July 28 Discount rate reduced to 10 percent.
August 5 Prime rate raised to 11 percent.
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1981
January 1 Minimum wage raised from $3.10 to $3.35.
January 6 Prime lowered to 20 percent.
January 20 American hostages released from Iran.
January 20 Ronald Reagan inaugurated as 40th President of the U.S.
January 28 Deregulation of oil and gas industry announced, effective immediately.
January 29 Prime rate lowered to 19-1/2 percent from 20 percent.
February 16 General Motors and Ford rebate plans announced.
February 23 Prime rate lowered to 18 percent.
March 2 Prime rate lowered to 18-1/2 percent.
March 10 Prime rate lowered to 18 percent.
March 16 Prime rate lowered to 17-1/2 percent.
March 18 Prime rate lowered to 17 percent.
March 26 -
June 8
United mine workers strike.
April 13 Prime rate raised to 17-1/2 percent.
April 29 Prime rate raised to 18 percent.
May 4 Prime rate raised to 19 percent.
May 5 Discount rate raised from 13 percent to 14 percent.
May 8 FHA-VA rate up to 15-1/2 percent from 14-1/2 percent.
May 11 Prime rate raised to 19-1/2 percent.
May 22 Prime rate raised to 20 percent.
May 27 OPEC fails to agree on uniform price schedule. OPEC officials freeze prices at current level.
June 5 Dollar reaches highest level in international trading since December 1971.
July 8 Prime rate raised to 20-1/2 percent.
August 3 -
Jan. 17, 1986
Professional Air Traffic Controller's Organization strike.
August 14 President Reagan signs both the tax- and budget-cut bills into law.
August 18 FHA-VA rate up to 16-1/2 percent from 15-1/2 percent.
September 1 Prime rate lowered to 20 percent.
September 21 Prime rate lowered to 19-1/2 percent.
September 22 Fed surcharge cut to 3 percent from 4 percent.
October Introduction of All Savers Certificates to stimulate savings.
October 6 Prime rate lowered to 19 percent.
Egyptian President Sadat assassinated.
October 13 Prime rate lowered to 18 percent.
October 30 OPEC price set at $34.00/barrel-the Saudi benchmark.
November 1 Passbook interest rate raised 1/2 percent to 5-3/4 percent.
November 2 Fed discount rate cut from 14 percent to 13 percent.
Prime rate lowered to 17-1/2 percent.
November 10 Prime rate lowered to 17 percent.
November 13 Prime rate lowered to 16-1/2 percent
FHA mortgage rate lowered to 15-1/2 percent.
November 16 Prime rate lowered to 16 percent.
November 17 Fed eliminates 2 percent surcharge. Discount rate unaffected.
December 1 Prime rate lowered to 15-1/2 percent.
December 4 Fed discount rate lowered from 13 percent to 12 percent.
December 12 Martial law imposed in Poland.
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1982
January 22 Federal funds rate raised to 13-1/2 percent.
January 25 FHA mortgage rate increased from 15-1/2 percent to 16-1/2 percent.
February 2 Prime rate raised to 16-1/2 percent by Citibank and Crocker.
February 18 Prime rate increased to 17 percent.
February 24 Prime rate cut to 16-1/2 percent.
March 1 Ford-UAW Pact ratified. Workers give up two weeks of paid time off and annual 3 percent raises.
March 8 Prime rate lowered to 16 percent.
March 16 Prime rate back up to 16-1/2 percent.
April 1 OPEC cuts production to 17.5 million barrels from current 18.2. Saudi benchmark set at $34/barrel.
April 5 Unemployment rate nationally hits 9.0 percent tying the post-WW II high in May 1975.
April 12 General Motor and United Auto Workers labor agreement approved.
April 26 The U.S. consumer price index declined 0.3 percent-the first decline in 17 years and the largest drop in nearly a quarter of a century.
May 7 U.S. unemployment rate reaches 9.4 percent for a post-WW II record.
May 13 Braniff Air Lines ceases operations.
June 25 Secretary of State Alexander Haig resigns.
June 28 U.S. Supreme Court rules that federally chartered savings and loan associations cannot be prohibited from enforcing due-on-sale clauses in their mortgage contracts.
July 20 Discount rate lowered from 12 percent to 11-1/2 percent. Prime rate lowered from 16-1/2 percent to 16 percent.
July 27 Prime rate lowered to 15-1/2 percent.
August 2 Discount rate lowered to 11 percent. Prime rate lowered to 15 percent.
August 9 Unemployment rate reached 9.8 percent in July-the highest level since 9.9 percent rate in 1941.
August 16 Discount rate cut from 11 percent to 10-1/2 percent. Most major banks lower their prime lending rates to 14-1/2 percent.
August 18 Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.81 points-an all-time record.
August 19 The stock market trading soared to a record 132,690,000 shares.
August 27 Discount rate lowered to 10 percent. Prime rate lowered to 13.5 percent.
November 23 Prime rate lowered from 12 percent to 11-1/2 percent.
December 13 Discount rate cut to 8-1/2 percent.
December 14 Introduction of money market deposit accounts by banks and S&Ls.
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1983
January 5 Super NOW accounts introduced.
January 11 Prime rate lowered to 11 percent.
January 31 Independent truckers strike begins.
February 10 Independent truckers strike ends.
February 15 Toyota/GM agreement to build a small car in late 1984.
February 25 Prime rate lowered to 10-1/2 percent.
March 14 OPEC sets $29 per barrel benchmark price and production quota of 17.5 million barrels.
May 2 An earthquake measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale strikes Coalinga, California.
June 8 The maximum rate on government-backed mortgages was raised from 11-1/2 percent to 12 percent.
June 18 Paul Volcker reappointed as Federal Reserve Board Chairman.
June 24 The Federal Budget deficit totaled a record $29.29 billion in May.
July 7 The maximum rate on government-backed mortgages was raised from 12 percent to 12-1/2 percent.
July 13 Chrysler Corporation announced it will repay the remaining $800 million in federally guaranteed loans by September, seven years before they are due.
July 25 The Washington Public Power Supply System defaulted on $2.25 billion in bonds, creating the largest municipal default in U.S. history.
August 1 California's $1.2 billion offering of revenue-anticipation notes, the State's largest note issue, drew strong investor interest. Notes totaling $700 million, maturing next April and June, were oversubscribed.
August 2 The maximum rate on government backed mortgages rose from 12-1/2 percent to 13-1/2 percent.
August 7 -
August 28
The Communications Workers of America and two other unions strike AT&T.
August 8 Prime rate raised from 10-1/2 percent to 11 percent by most major banks.
August 23 The maximum rate on government backed mortgages fell from 13-1/2 percent to 13 percent.
September 1 Soviet Union shoots down Korean Airlines Flight 007, New York to Seoul, near the Soviet island of Sakhalin, just north of Japan.
November 1 Maximum rate on VA & FHA mortgages lowered from 13 percent to 12.5 percent.
November 3 -
December 21
Strike against Greyhound Lines, Inc.
December 1 FHA mortgage interest rates begin to float. VA rates are still pegged.
  Return to top
1984
January 3 Breakup of AT&T becomes effective.
February 2 Contemporaneous reserve accounting is required by Fed for all but the very small deposit-taking institutions.
March 19 Prime rate raised from 11 percent to 11-1/2 percent.
March 20 Maximum rate on VA loans rasied from 12-1/2 to 13 percent.
April 4 Prime rate raised from 11-1/2 percent to 12 percent.
April 9 Discount rate raised from 11-1/2 percent to 12 percent.
May 5 Prime rate raised from 12 pecent to 12-1/2 percent.
June 26 Prime rate raised from 12-1/2 percent to 13 percent.
September 3 -
December 7
Hotel and restaurant strike-San Francisco.
September 15 -
October 14
UAW-General Motors strike.
  Return to top
1985
January 1 Federal price controls removed from approximately half of the natural gas produced in the United States.
January 15 Prime rate reduced from 10-3/4 percent to 10-1/2 percent.
March 9 Home State Savings Bank Cincinnati, Ohio closed.
March 15 Seventy Ohio thrift institutions closed to prevent run on deposits.
March 25 Auto manufacturer's initiate low interest loan programs.
May 2 Auto manufacturer's initiate low interest loan programs.
May 17 -
June 14
United Airlines—Air Pilots Association strike
May 17 Prime rate reduced from 10-1/2 percent to 10 percent.
May 20 Dow Jones Industrials close above 1,300 for the first time.
May 29 Presidents' tax reform plan unveiled.
June 18 Prime rate reduced to 9-1/2 percent from 10 percent.
July 16 Conventional mortgage rates fell to 12.03 percent average--the lowest since October 1979.
July 22 -
October 16
8,200 steelworkers on strike at Wheeling Pittsburgh—the industry’s first major walkout in 26 years
August 15 GM announces 7.7 percent financing rate program to run through October 2nd.
August 20 Ford and Chrysler announce incentive plans including low interest loans and rebates on 1985 autos.
September 4 The Farm Credit System seeks a Federal bailout of its $74 billion loan portfolio.
September 15 A State Department of Housing and Community Development regulation requiring equal access on accessible levels of apartment houses with five or more units, for handicapped persons, went into effect.
September 16 A State Department of Housing and Community Development regulation requiring equal access on accessible levels of apartment houses with five or more units, for handicapped persons, went into effect.
September 22 G-5 agreement to push the dollar lower.
November 7 Dow Jones Industrials close above 1400 for the first time.
December 10 World oil prices fall by more than a dollar after OPEC decides to abandon price supports.
December 12 President Reagan signs the budget deficit bill into law, raising the debt ceiling to $2 trillion and setting deficit targets for each year through 1991.
December 23 President Reagan signs the farm subsidy bill into law, creating a 5 year plan to bail out the Farm Credit System.
  Return to top
1986
January 1 Ceiling on Super NOW accounts was removed.
January 17 United Steel workers leaders agreed to allow rank-and-file members to vote on labor contracts for the first time in the union's history.
January 28 Space shuttle Challenger explosion destroys the spacecraft. Seven crew members died.
February 26 Corazon Aquino takes over Phillipines as the new president.
March 3 Dow Jones Industrials close above 1700 for the first time.
March 4 Yields on 10-year Treasury Notes fall below 8 percent for the first time in eight years. Oil prices fall to $12 per barrel.
March 7 The discount rate reduced from 7-1/2 percent to 7 percent, following similar cuts by Germany & Japan.
March 10 Prime rate cut to 9 percent from 9-1/2 percent.
March 21 Dow Jones Industrials close above 1800 for the first time.
Conservative Chirac appointed as Prime Minister of France.
March 25 U.S. warplanes attacked two Libyan ships and a shoreline missile site after Libyan missiles were fired at U.S. planes in the Gulf of Sidra.
April 1 Interest ceilings on passbook saving accounts ended.
Oil prices fall to under $11 per barrel.
April 14 U.S. air strike against Libya.
April 21 U.S. Dollar reaches a post-WWII low against the Yen at 168.60.Discount rate cut from 7 percent to 6-1/2 percent.
Prime rate cut to 8-1/2 percent from 9 percent.
April 23 Paul Volcker warns of public and private debt buildup as a threat to the economy.
April 25 Soviet nuclear plant at Chernobyl destroyed by fire.
May 12 U.S. dollar falls to 159.95 Yen.
May 22 U.S. proposes 35 percent tariff on Canadian cedar shakes and shingles for roofing, leading to a trade dispute between the U.S. and Canada.
June 1 -
June 26
CWA strike at AT&T
July 7 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Gramm Rudman Hollings mechanism for across the board, automatic spending cuts was unconstitutional.
The Dow Jones Industrial average was down a record 61.87 points.
July 10 The Fed lowered the discount rate from 6-1/2% to 6%.
July 11 Prime rate cut to 8 percent from 8-1/2 percent.
July 20 Prime rate cut to 7-1/2 percent.
August 1 United steelworkers strike for the first time since 1959. 44,000 workers were involved.
August 20 The discount rate was reduced from 6 percent to 5-1/2 percent.
August 27 The prime rate was cut to 7-1/2 percent from 8 percent.
August 28 General Motors Corp. introduces a new incentive program to lure consumers by an unprecedented auto loan rate of 2.9 percent.
September 4 Stock market prices soared as the Dow Jones Industrial average jumped 38.38 points to a closing record of 1919.17.
September 5 California bank and corporation tax law was amended to provide for a "Waters-Edge" election.  This is an alternate treatment of taxable income.
September 11 The Dow Jones Industrial average plummeted a record 86.61 points, or 4.61 percent to 1792.89.
October 22 President Reagan signs the tax reform bill into law, the first full scale remodification since 1954.
October 27 -
December 13
Union employees from Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Kaiser Permanente Medical
Group, Inc. & Kaiser Foundation Health Plan strike
November 1 The savings bond rate dropped from 7-1/2 percent to 6 percent, affecting new issues only.
  Return to top
1987
January 1 California Legislature approved a measure, effective Jan. 1, 1987, giving school districts the local option to access $1.50 per square foot on new residental construction and $.25 per square foot on new nonresidential construction.
Fannie Mae raises mortgage ceiling to $153,100 from $133,250.
OPEC's 7 percent production cut went into effect. U.S. oil prices hit $18 per barrel.
January 8 The Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 2000 mark.
January 19 The Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 2100 mark.
The California Trade Office opened in Tokyo.
The dollar fell to a record low against the yen-150.49 yen to the dollar.
January 22 The Dow Jones Industrial average posted a record 51.60 gain to a new high of 2145.67.
February 5 Brazil suspends interest payments on commercial debt.
The Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 2200 mark.
March 5 Ecuador is rocked by severe earthquake.
March 16 Fannie Mae announces it will not enter home equity loan market.
March 20 The Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 2300 mark.
March 24 U.S. dollar falls to post WW II low--148.5 yen to the dollar.
April 1 The prime rate increased from 7-1/2 to 7-3/4 percent.
April 6 The Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 2400 mark.
April 13 The California Trade Office opened in London.
May 1 The prime rate was increased from 7-3/4 percent to 8 percent.
May 5 Immigration amnesty program in effect.
May 7 The Farm Credit System formally asked Congress for a $6 billion loan from the Treasury.
May 15 The prime rate was increased to 8-1/4 percent from 8 percent.
May 17 The U.S.S. Stark was struck by an air-launched Iraqi missile in the Persian Gulf.
June 1 Penalties in place for employers of illegal aliens.
July 17 Dow Jones Industrials close over 2,500 for the first time.
July 22 Kuwaiti tankers placed under U.S. flag for transit through Persian Gulf.
August 10 Dow Jones index closes over 2,600 for 1st time.
August 11 Alan Greenspan sworn in as Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.
August 17 Dow Jones index closes over 2,700 for 1st time.
September 4 Discount rate raised from 5-1/2 percent to 6 percent.
Prime rate raised from 8-1/4 percent to 8-3/4 percent.
October 1 Severe earthquake hits Southern California. Epicenter near Whittier.
October 7 Prime rate raised from 8-3/4 percent to 9-1/4 percent.
October 14 Dow Jones Industrials fall a record 95 points.
October 15 Dow Jones Industrials down 58 points.
October 16 Dow Jones Industrials down a record 108 points.
October 19 Dow Jones Industrial average plunges 508 points, a record 22.6 percent one-day drop. Cumulative four-day decline of 769 points.
October 21 Dow up a record 187 points.
October 22 Prime rate cut to 9 percent from 9-1/4 percent.
November 2 Dollar falls to 40 year low of 136.95 Yen.
November 5 Prime rate cut to 8-3/4 percent from 9 percent.
November 23-24 Severe earthquakes hit Imperial County.
November 30 Dollar hits postwar lows against Yen and Mark.
  Return to top
1988
February 3 Prime rate cut to 8.5 percent from 8.75 percent.
March 7 -
August 7
Television writers strike.
May 12 Prime rate raised from 8.5 percent to 9 percent.
July 1 California's minimum wage raised from $3.35 to $4.25.
July 3 U.S.S. Vincennes shoots down Iran Air Flight 655 over the Persian Gulf.
July 14 Prime rate raised from 9 percent to 9-1/2 percent.
August 9 Discount rate raised from 6 percent to 6-1/2 percent.
August 11 Prime rate raised from 9-1/2 percent to 10 percent.
November 28 Prime rate raised from 10 percent to 10-1/2 percent.
December 8 Severe earthquake hits Soviet Armenia; death toll more than 100,000.
December 21 Pan American flight 103 from London to New York crashes in Scotland, killing 283. British authorities later confirm bomb caused crash.
  Return to top
1989
February 10 Prime rate raised from 10-1/2 percent to 11 percent.
February 24 Discount rate raised from 6-1/2 percent to 7 percent.
Prime rate raised from 11 percent to 11-1/2 percent.
March 4 International Association of Machinists strike against Eastern Airlines.
March 24 Exxon Valdez runs aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of oil.
June 5 Prime rate cut from 11-1/2 percent to 11 percent.
July 10 Chase Manhattan cuts prime rate to 10-1/2 percent from 11 percent.
July 19 DC-10 crashes at Sioux City; hydraulic systems failure cited as cause.
July 31 Most major banks cut prime rate to 10-1/2 percent.
September 21 Hurricane Hugo hits the Carolinas causing extensive property damage.
October 4 -
November 20
International Association of Machinists strike Boeing.
October 17 Earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter, hits the San Francisco Bay Area.
November 30 October U.S. personal income release indicates quake will reduce California personal income by about $2 billion in 1989.
  Return to top
1990
January 8 Prime rate cut from 10-1/2 percent to 10 percent.
January 15 Campeau Corp. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection.
February 13 Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-law protection.
March 2 Amalgamated Transit Union strikes Greyhound Lines, Inc.
April 1 Federal minimum wage raised from $3.35 to $3.80.
July 27 Revised GNP estimates cut 1989 growth by 1/2 percent. Year-over-year growth for the second quarter only 1.2 percent.
August 1 California gasoline and diesel fuel tax increase of 5 cents per gallon.
August 2 Iraq invades Kuwait
September 9 California population reaches 30 million according to California Department of Finance.
November 30 Index of leading indicators declines for fourth month in a row.
December 1 Federal gasoline tax increase of 5 cents per gallon.
December 4 Federal Reserve cuts bank reserve requirements by $11 billion.
December 18 Discount rate cut from 7 percent to 6-1/2 percent.
  Return to top
1991
January 1 California gasoline and diesel fuel tax increase of one cent per gallon.
January 2 Prime rate cut from 10 percent to 9-1/2 percent.
January 12 Congress approves use of force in Iraq.
January 16 U.S. begins military action against Iraq.
February 1 Discount rate cut from 6-1/2 percent to 6 percent.
Prime rate reduced from 9-1/2 percent to 9 percent.
Carter Hawley Hale files for bankruptcy protection.
February 26 Iraqi troops withdraw from Kuwait.
February 27 President Bush orders a cease fire in the war against Iraq.
April 1 Federal minimum wage raised from $3.80 to $4.25.
April 23 Lockheed-Georgia awarded F-22 Air Force contract.
April 30 Discount rate cut from 6 percent to 5-1/2 percent.
May 1 Prime rate reduced from 9 percent to 8-1/2 percent.
June 28 Sierra Madre earthquake in Los Angeles County.
July 15 Chemical Banking and Manufacturers Hanover agree to merge.
August 12 BankAmerica agrees to acquire Security Pacific, surpassing the Chemical/Manufacturers Hanover merger as the largest in the banking industry.
September 13 Discount rate cut from 5-1/2 percent to 5 percent, the lowest level since February 1973.
Most major banks reduce prime rate from 8-1/2 percent to 8 percent.
October 20 Oakland Hills fire.
November 6 Discount rate cut from 5 percent to 4-1/2 percent. Prime rate cut from 8 percent to 7-1/2 percent.
December 18 GM announces plans to close 21 plants and cut 74,000 jobs by the end of 1995.
December 20 Federal Reserve cuts the discount rate from 4-1/2 percent to 3-1/2 percent.
Prime rate reduced from 7-1/2 percent to 6-1/2 percent by many large banks.
  Return to top
1992
January 1 California gasoline and diesel fuel tax increase of one cent per gallon.
January 27 R.H. Macy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
January 31 TWA files for bankruptcy protection.
February 10 Los Angeles floods
April 22 Palm Springs earthquake
April 25 -
April 26
Ferndale earthquakes
April 29 -
May 2
Los Angeles riots
June 28 Yucca Valley/Big Bear earthquakes
July 2 Federal Reserve cuts the discount rate cut from 3-1/2 percent to 3 percent, the lowest level since 1963.
Prime rate cut from 6-1/2 percent to 6 percent.
August 24 -
August 26
Hurricane Andrew hits Florida and Louisiana.
August 27 General Motors closes Van Nuys plant, which employed 2,600 workers. The plant was Southern California's last remaining auto factory.
September 2 After a record 64 days without a state budget, Governor Wilson signs the 1992-93 state budget bill.
September 11 Hurricane Iniki hits the Hawaiian island of Kauai.
  Return to top
1993
January 1 California gasoline and diesel fuel tax increase of one cent per gallon
February 17 President Clinton announces economic plan, which cuts defense spending by $188 billion from 1994-1998.
February 26 Bomb blast at the New York's World Trade Center
March 11 Seven California bases are included in the Department of Defenses announcement to close 31 major bases.
Summer Great Flood of '93, from Minnesota to Missouri, caused an estimated $12 billion in damage and covered over 10 million acres. Clinton declared more than 200 counties federal disaster areas, including all 99 counties in Iowa.
August 11 President Clinton signed into law his economic program that calls for spending curbs and higher taxes to reduce projected federal budget deficit by $496 billion over a five-year period.
Fall Thirteen wild fires raged Southern California, some attributed to arson. Five counties were declared disaster areas.
November 19 The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is passed. Businesses anticipate expanded opportunities south of the border and increased jobs in the U.S.
December 10 Japan and the U.S. agreed on a plan to open Japan's markets to rice import.
  Return to top
1994
January 17 A destructive earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale, centered in Northridge, struck Southern California at 4:31 a.m.
February 4 Federal funds rate raised from 3.0 percent to 3.25 percent, the first increase in five years.
March 22 Federal funds rate raised from 3.25 percent to 3.50 percent.
March 21 -
April 4
Stock market selloff reduces Dow Jones Industrials by 9.7 percent from January peak.
Treasury 30-year bond yields 7.42 percent, up from 5.79 percent in October.
Fixed rate mortgages exceed 8 1/2 percent, compared to 6.8 percent in October, 1993.
April 18 Federal funds rate raised from 3.50 percent to 3.75 percent
May 17 Federal funds rate raised from 3.75 percent to 4.25 percent.
August 16 Federal funds rate raised from 4.25 percent to 4.75 percent.
November 15 Federal funds rate raised from 4.75 percent to 5.5 percent.
December 2 Congress approved the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The GATT accord cuts tariffs globally by roughly 40%, extends intellectual-property rights and tightens rules on investment and trade in services.
December 7 A leveraged investment strategy led to huge losses for an Orange County, California, investment fund. The County filed for bankruptcy protection, the largest such municipal filing ever.
  Return to top
1995
January U.S. trade deficit soared by 68 percent to $12.2 billion.
January-March California has been battered by its worst weeklong series of storms since 1986. Severe floods have forced the evacuation of thousands of residents and caused an estimated $2 billion of damage making it the costliest winter storm in the history of the State.
January 17 Earthquake, measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, hits Kobe, Japan.
January 31 The Clinton Administration announced a program of loans and currency swaps to prop up the Mexican peso. The plan will utilize existing authority and will involve several international agencies. The peso has been devalued by more than 40 percent against the U.S. dollar since early December.
February 12 Federal funds rate raised from 5.5 percent to 6 percent.
February 24 Dow Jones industrial average closed above 4000 for the first time.
March 10 McDonnell Douglas won a $910 million order for at least 30 Apache attack helicopters from the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
March 13 China and the U.S. reached agreements that should further open Chinese markets to U.S. agricultural production, lift suspension of a 1992 market-access accord and open discussions on allowing U.S telecommunications and insurance services into China.
March 15 Boeing won a $1.17 billion order for its 737-600 airliners from Scandinavian Airlines.
March 23 U.S. trade deficit soared by 68 percent to a monthly record of $12.2 billion in January.
March-April Dollar hits post WW II lows against the yen and mark.
April 19 Bomb blast at an Oklahoma City federal building.
April 30 President Clinton announced a cutoff of all trade by U.S. companies with Iran.
May 22 NASA intends to cut 28,860 jobs and consolidate space-shuttle activities under a single contractor within the next five years.
May 24 Boeing plans to cut 5,000 more jobs this year than previously projected, bringing the total to 12,000 by year-end.
June 5 Boeing won at least two-thirds of a $6 billion commercial-jetliner order from Saudi Arabian carrier Saudia, with the remainder going to McDonnel Douglas Corporation.
July 6 Federal funds rate reduced from 6 percent to 5.75 percent.
October Florida's panhandle was hit hard by Hurricane Opal.
Boeing Co. union machinists strike.
November 14 -
November 19
Budget impasse caused partial federal government shutdown and furlough of non-essential federal employees.
November 15 Boeing won a $12.7 billion order from Singapore Airlines.
November 20 Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 5000 mark.
December 4 President Clinton authorized a vanguard of U.S. troops to move into Bosnia. The advance troops will set up headquarters in preparation for thousands more U.S. soldiers to follow.
Strikers at Caterpillar rejected a proposed six-year contract, but the United Auto Workers union called an end to the 17-month walkout anyway.
December 19 Federal funds rate reduced from 5.75 percent to 5.50 percent.
  Return to top
1996
December 18 -
January 7
The federal government shut down partially again as budget talks stalled.
January 3 AT&T will eliminate at least 40,000 jobs over the next three years as part of its plan to split into 3 companies.
January 8-10 Blizzard paralyzed the East Coast.
January 25 Wells Fargo & Co. will merge with First Interstate Bancorp.
January 31 Federal funds rate reduced from 5.50 percent to 5.25 percent.
February 8 President Clinton signed a landmark telecommunications bill into law.
February 9 Boeing Co. intends to fill 7,000 new jobs by early 1997 in its rebounding commercial-jet division.
March-June Gasoline retail prices in California increased by 28 percent--sharply higher than the sizable nationwide increase of about 12 percent.
March 6 -
March 22
United Auto Workers strike at General Motors Corp.’s brake-parts plants in Dayton OH
April 1 Pacific Telesis, parent of Pacific Telephone, agreed to be acquired by San Antonio based SBC (formerly Southwestern Bell).
April 23 Bell Atlantic and Nynex agreed to merge
May 14 The California Public Employees Retirement System reached the $100 billion mark.
June 5 Packard Bell and NEC will merge their personal computer operations creating one of the largest PC makers in the world
July 3 Lockheed Martin won the $1 billion federal contract to build a prototype for a next-generation space shuttle.
July 12 Hurricane Bertha hits the North Carolina coast.
July 29 First Nationwide Bank will acquire Cal Fed Bancorp Inc. creating the nation’s fourth largest savings and loan association.
July 30 Standard & Poor’s raised California’s credit rating to an A+ from an A.
August 1 Rockwell International Corp. agreed to sell most of its aerospace and defense businesses to Boeing Co.
Aerojet landed a $30 million contract that gives it a role in developing the nation’s next-generation space shuttle.
August 5 PacificCare Health Systems Inc. will buy competitor FHP International Corp. making it the second largest managed care organization in California.
August 10 A massive disruption in a sprawling power system triggered a widespread electricity outage affecting millions of people in parts of at least nine Western states.
September 5 Hurricane Fran hits Carolina coast.
October 1 Federal minimum wage raised from $4.25 to $4.75.
October 14 Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 6000 mark.
December 13 Countries representing most of the world’s high-technology trade agreed to abolish tariffs on computers, software and related goods.
December 16 Boeing Co. agreed to acquire McDonnell Douglas Corp.
December 23 Apple Computer Inc. will buy Next Software for $400 million.
  Return to top
1997
Winter Rivers in the West overflowed as rain and melting snow brought flooding in the Northwestern states, California and Nevada.
The flooding has cost California's agricultural industry $155 million so far, according to state officials.
January 13 Faced with unprecedented demand for new phone lines for Internet surfers and home offices, Pacific Bell will hire more than 2,500 employees in California.
January 15 Mexico announced that it will repay U.S. loan three years ahead of schedule.
January 16 General Motor's Hughes Electronics will be acquired by Raytheon Corp.
January 29 U.S. Treasury issues the first $7 billion in 10-year inflation-indexed notes.
February 13 Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 7000 mark.
February 19 U.S. trade deficit hits 8-year high.
March 1 California's minimum wage raised from $4.75 to $5.00.
March 7 Federal 10 percent tax on airline tickets was reimposed.
March 25 Federal funds rate raised from 5.25 percent to 5.50 percent.
April The nation's unemployment rate falls to a 24-year low.
April 30 First quarter GDP grew at a robust 5.6 percent fueled by a big inventory buildup, warm weather and the biggest rise in consumer spending in ten years.
July 1 China regained sovereignty over Hong Kong.
July 4 Lockheed Martin agreed to buy Northrop Grumman.
July 16 Dow Jones Industrial average topped 8000 mark.
August 4 The European Commission formally cleared the merger of Boeing and McDonnell Douglas.
August 4-18 Teamsters union strike against United Parcel Service.
September 1 California's minimum wage raised from $5.00 to $5.15.
October 27 The Dow Jones Industrial average posted its worst one-day point loss ever. The relentless selling drove the industrial average down 554.26 points, or 7.18 percent.
November 21 Yamaichi Securities, Japan's no. 4 securities firm will shut down, its largest corporate failure since WWII.
December 3 South Korea agreed to a broad dismantling of its interlocked financial and industrial system as the price for a record $55+ billion IMF bailout.
November-December Asia's crashing currencies are rapidly destroying the financial health of the regions.
The Indonesian rupiah and Korean won have lost more than half their value against the U.S. dollar this year.
December 19 California's jobless figure fell sharply to 5.8 percent in November, the lowest in over seven years.
  Return to top
1998
January 5 Bond prices surged sending the 30-year Treasury to a record low yield of 5.73 percent, while comparable government-bond yields reached their lowest levels since the 1960s.
January 26 Compaq agreed to acquire Digital Equipment Corporation.
February 2 Standard and Poor’s stock index passed the 1000 milestone for the first time.
February 27 Fourth quarter 1997 GDP growth rate revised to 3.9 percent, down from an initial estimate of 4.3 percent.
March 1 California’s minimum wage raised from $5.15 to $5.75.
Winter El Nino-fueled storms caused widespread flooding and landslides in California. Thirty-five counties declared federal disaster areas. The State’s agriculture industry estimates a flood-related loss of $57.4 million so far.
March 17 Washington Mutual and H.F. Ahmanson & Co. agreed to merge.
March 18 The NASD and AMEX boards agreed to join the two securities market.
March 19 The U.S. trade deficit for January widened to its worst level in six years.
March 20 Boeing plans to reduce approximately 6,200 jobs in California by the year 2000.
March 24 Xerox Corp. plans to cut 10,000 jobs worldwide or 11 percent of its workforce.
March 30 OPEC agreed to cut crude-oil production by 1.25 million barrels a day.
April 6 Citicorp and Travelers Group agreed to merge.
Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 9000 mark.
April 8 Tornadoes swept the South causing death and significant property damage.
April 13 NationsBank formally announced its merger with BankAmerica while BancOne confirmed its planned combination with First Chicago.
April 14 Intel announced that it will eliminate up to 3,000 jobs over the next six months.
April 22 National Semiconductor plans to cut its worldwide workforce by 10 percent, or about 1,400 people.
May 6 Daimler Benz and Chrysler Corporation agreed to merge.
Compaq plans to eliminate 15,000 jobs following its purchase of Digital Equipment
May 11 SBC formally announced plans to acquire Ameritech
June 4 Motorola plans to layoff 10 percent of its workforce, or about 15,000 workers.
June 5 -
July 28
United Auto Workers strike at General Motors.
June 8 Wells Fargo & Co. and Norwest agreed to merge.
June 9 The Philadelphia Stock Exchange agreed to join AMEX and NASD.
June 12 California’s unemployment rate fell in May to its lowest level in nearly 8 years
June 18 Texas Instruments plans to eliminate 3,500 jobs worldwide, about 8 percent of its payroll.
June 24 AT&T announced its plan to acquire cable giant TCI.
OPEC agreed to cut crude-oil production by 1.4 million barrels per day.
June 25 Rockwell International Corporation will cut 9 percent of its workforce, or 3,800 jobs.
June 26 El Niño damage to California’s agricultural industry soars to $422 million. Lockheed announced its plan to lay off 2,500 workers at Sunnyvale, California.
June Japan officially declares a recession.
June 29 Chinese and U.S. companies signed $1.1 billion in new business deals, including China’s agreement of intent to purchase 27 Boeing Co. jetliners.
July 10 IMF agreed to provide Russia with an assistance package worth $14 billion.
July 16 Lockheed Martin called off its proposed merger with Northrop Grumman.
The Nasdaq composite edged over 2,000 for the first time.
August 13 Boeing to transfer selected 737 assembly processes to Long Beach, California.
August 14 California agriculture flourished in 1997, breaking records in both production and income
NationsBank and BankAmerica merger gets federal approval.
August 17 Golden State Bancorp and California Federal Bank agreed to merge
August 31 The Dow Jones Industrial average fell 512.61 points wiping out what remained of the year’s gains. The Nasdaq Composite fell 140.43, its worst point drop ever.
September 2 Northwest Airlines issued layoff notices to 27,500 employees, or 55 percent of its workforce.
September 15 Rockwell International Corp. to eliminate around 900 jobs.
September 17 Citigroup expects to eliminate about 8,000 jobs by year end, or 5 percent of its workforce.
September 21 Russia devalues currency and restricts international transactions including debt repayments.
Financial firms have lost more than $8 billion so far in the fallout from Russia’s financial collapse.
September 23 Citicorp and Travelers merger gets federal approval.
September 29 Federal funds rate reduced from 5.50 percent to 5.25 percent.
Dow Jones Industrial average fell 237.90 points the next day.
October 2 California’s credit rating was upgraded by Moody’s Investors ServiceHewlett-Packard Co. will eliminate 2,500 jobs or 2 percent of its workforce.
October 6 Washington Mutual Inc. will close 161 branches in California as a result of its Home Savings of America acquisition.
October 7 Raytheon Co. to cut workforce by 14,000.
October 8 Packard Bell NEC to cut U.S. workforce by 20 percent.
October 12 Merrill Lynch will cut work force by 3,400 or 5 percent.
October 15 Federal funds rate reduced from 5.25 to 5.00 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 5.00 to 4.75 percent.
The Dow Jones Industrial average rose to more than 330 points and led to rallies in European, Asian and Latin American stock markets. Canada and Argentina followed with rate cuts of their own.
October 30 Third quarter GDP jumped to an annual rate of 3.3 percent exceeding estimates.
November 12 Brazil reached a pact with leading countries and lenders on a $42 billion rescue package, in a move aimed at preventing the financial crisis from spreading throughout South America.
November 17 Federal funds rate reduced from 5.00 to 4.75 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 4.75 to 4.50 percent.
December 1 Exxon and Mobil confirmed their plans to merge, creating the world's largest oil producer.
December 2 NEC Electronics lays off about 400 workers or 13 percent of its U.S. workforce.
December 9 MCI WorldCom Inc. plans to layoff about 3,750 or between 3 to 5 percent of its workforce.
Trans World Airlines announced its biggest plane order ever, confirming it has placed orders and options for up to 250 Airbus and Boeing jets.
  Return to top
1999
January 1 A new reserve currency, the "euro" is introduced, creating a single market in Europe. It will be the currency of reference for the 11 countries participating in the European Monetary Union. 
January 13 Brazil devalues its currency sending U.S. stocks into a free fall.
January 21 The 1998 trade deficit hit an all-time high of $175 billion, 58 percent more than the shortfall recorded in 1997.
March 22 OPEC agreed to reduce crude oil production by 2.1 million barrels per day and maintain lower levels of output for a full year.
March 29 Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 10,000 mark.
April 9 The European Central Bank cut its key discount rate, for the first time, from 3.0 to 2.5 percent.
April 29 GDP rose to 4.5 percent in the first quarter
May 3 Dow Jones Industrial average topped the 11,000 mark.
May 26 First quarter GDP growth revised down to 4.1 percent..
May 27 US companies’ after tax profit rose 4.3% in the first quarter, the largest quarterly gain in four years.
June 10 Japan’s economy grew 7.9 percent in the first quarter.
June 11 California’s unemployment rate moved down from 5.7% in April to 5.2% in May, the lowest level since mid-1990.
June 29 Federal funds rate raised from 4.75 to 5.00 percent.
July 28 GDP rose 2.3 percent in the second quarter.
August 24 Federal funds rate raised from 5.00 to 5.25 percent.
Discount rate raised from 4.50 to 4.75 percent.
Mid-September: Hurricane Floyd batters the East Coast.
September 21 A 7.6 magnitude earthquake hits Taiwan.
September 30 In 1998, the US poverty rate fell to its lowest in 20 years at 12.7 percent. Real median household income hit a record 3.5 percent growth surpassing its pre-recessionary peak in 1989, and for the first time since 1975, all four US regions experienced significant increases.  September 30: Second quarter GDP growth rate revised to 1.6 percent, the smallest gain in four years.
October 4 MCI WorldCom to buy Sprint.
October 13 Producer Price Index for finished goods jumped 1.1 percent in September, the largest monthly increase in 9 years.
October 15 California’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent, the lowest since 1969.
October 27 GDP for third quarter grew at 4.8 percent, 2nd quarter growth rate was revised upward to 1.9 percent from the original 1.6 percent.
November 1 Dow Jones & Co. added the technology leaders Microsoft and Intel as well as two other issues, to its industrial average, the first time that Nasdaq stocks have been included. It also dropped four companies that have been components for most of the 20th century.
November 2 Nasdaq closed above the 3000 mark for the first time.
Packard Bell says it will end its computer manufacturing business, close its Sacramento plant, and lay off 80 percent of its US workforce.
November 16 Federal funds rate raised from 5.25 to 5.50 percent.
Discount rate raised from 4.75 to 5.00 percent.
November 17 Crude-oil futures hit an almost nine-year high, rising 90 cents to $26.60 a barrel.
November 24 Third quarter GDP grew at an annual rate of 5.5 percent, well above previous estimates.
November 30 Exxon and Mobil merger approved by federal regulators.
December 2 The euro fell to parity with the dollar for the first time since its launch in January as Europe’s common currency
December 17 Pharmacia and Monsanto agreed to merge.
December 22 Third quarter GDP rose at 5.7 percent annual pace, above the previous estimate of 5.5 percent.
December 29 Nasdaq closed above the 4000 mark for the first time.
  Return to top
2000
January 14 Dow Jones industrials hit record high of 11,722.98.
January 27 Fourth quarter GDP grew at an annual rate of 5.8 percent.
February 2 Federal funds rate raised from 5.50 percent to 5.75 percent.
Discount rate raised from 5.00 percent to 5.25 percent.
February 4 The nation’s jobless rate at 4 percent is lowest in 3 decades.
February 7 Pfizer Inc. and Warner-Lambert Co complete merger deal. 
March 10 Nasdaq hits record high of 5,048.62. 
March 16 Dow Jones industrials rose 499.19 points, biggest point gain on record.
March 20 Boeing Co. engineers and technical workers returned to work after a 40-day strike ending one of the biggest white-collar walkouts in US history.
Crude oil prices drop below $30 a barrel.
March 21 Federal funds rate raised from 5.75 percent to 6.0 percent.
Discount rate raised from 5.25 percent to 5.50 percent.
March 30 GDP growth rate for 4th quarter was revised upward to 7.3 percent, its strongest pace since 1984.
April 7 President Clinton signed into law a bill allowing older Americans to work without losing any of their Social Security benefits.
April 10 Wells Fargo & Co agreed to acquire First Security Corporation of Utah.
April 27 First quarter GDP grew at an annual rate of 5.4 percent with consumer spending jumping 8.3 percent, the sharpest gain in more than 17 years.
Employment cost index jumped 1.4 percent in the first quarter, the sharpest increase in 11 years.
May 16 Federal funds rate raised from 6.0 percent to 6.5 percent.
June 29 GDP 1st quarter growth rate revised from 5.4 to 5.5 percent.
July 28 GDP 2nd quarter grew at an annual rate of 5.2 percent.
August World oil prices are rising because of increasingly tight supplies. U.S. inventories are at their lowest level since 1976 and crude prices have increased significantly contributing to costlier gasoline and heating oil.
September 19 China was granted permanent normal trade relations status with the U.S.
September 28 GDP growth rate for 2nd quarter was revised to 5.6 percent.
October 18 Social Security and Supplemental Security income payments will increase by 3.5 percent in 2001, the biggest in almost a decade.
October 31 OPEC plans to increase oil production by 500,000 barrels per day making it the fourth increase this year.
December 21 GDP for 3rd quarter grew at an annual rate of 2.2 percent.
December 31 Dow and Nasdaq record losing years for the first time since 1990.
  Return to top
2001
January 1 California’s minimum wage raised from $5.75 to $6.25
January 1 The California state rate portion of the total 7.25% sales tax rate was reduced by .25%, to a total tax rate of 7.00%.
January 3 Federal Reserve makes surprise rate cut.
Federal funds rate reduced to 6.0 percent from 6.5 percent.
Discount rate reduced to 5.5 percent from 6.0 percent.

Nasdaq jumped a record 14.17 percent.
January 17 OPEC to cut oil production by 1.5 million barrels a day, or 5.6 percent of current output.
January 31 Federal funds rate reduced from 6.0 percent to 5.5 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 5.5 percent to 5.0 percent.
March 19 OPEC to cut oil production by 1 million barrels a day.
March 19-20 California suffered rolling blackouts.
March 20 Federal funds rate reduced from 5.5 percent to 5.0 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 5.0 percent to 4.5 percent.
March 27 California regulators approved retail electric rate increase.
March 29 GDP grew at an annual rate of 1 percent in the fourth quarter, the lowest in more than 5 years.
April 6 PG&E utility unit files for bankruptcy.
April 18 Federal funds rate reduced from 5.0 percent to 4.5 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 4.5 percent to 4.0 percent.
April 23 A Tosco refinery explosion pushed gasoline prices to near record highs.
April 24 Standard & Poors lowered California’s bond rating from AA to A+
April 27 GDP grew at an annual rate of 2 percent in the first quarter.
May 7-8  California hit by rolling blackouts.
May 15 Federal funds rate reduced from 4.5 percent to 4.0 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 4.0 percent to 3.5 percent.
June 7 Federal tax cut was signed into law.
June 18 The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission adopted a price "mitigation" plan designed to reduce spikes in wholesale electricity prices in California and other Western states
June 27 Federal funds rate reduced from 4.00 percent to 3.75 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 3.50 percent to 3.25 percent.
June 29 First quarter GDP growth rate revised to 1.2 percent.
August 21 Federal funds rate reduced from  3.75 percent to 3.50 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 3.25 percent to 3.00 percent.
August  29 Second quarter GDP grew  at a 0.2 percent annual rate.
September 11 Terrorists attack World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
September 11-14 U.S. stock trading halts.
September 17 Federal funds rate reduced from 3.50 percent to 3.00 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 3.00 percent to 2.50 percent.

Dow Jones industrials record biggest point drop in history, falling 684.41.
October 2 Federal funds rate reduced from 3.00 percent to 2.50 percent. 
Discount rate reduced from 2.50 percent to 2.00 percent.  
October 26 Lockheed Martin Corporation awarded defense contract.
November 6 Federal funds rate reduced from 2.50 percent to 2.00 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 2.00 percent to 1.50 percent
November 26 Recession in the US began in March 2001, according to NBER.
December 2 Enron filed for bankruptcy.
December 11 Federal funds rate reduced from 2.00 percent to 1.75 percent.
Discount rate reduced from 1.50 percent to 1.25 percent.
China becomes WTO member
December 21 GDP down 1.3 percent in Q3.
December 31 Markets fall for a second straight year for the first time since 1974.
  Return to top
2002
January 1 Taiwan becomes WTO member.
OPEC to cut oil production by 6.5 percent.
Euro becomes legal tender in 12 European countries.
January 6  Unemployment insurance benefits increased in California.
February 28   GDP up 1.4 percent in Q4.
March 9   California’s "Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002" was signed into law that provides for temporary extended unemployment compensation.
March 28   GDP up 1.7 percent in Q4.
April 25 Security and Exchange Commission launched a formal investigation of Wall Street analysts' conflicts of interest.
May 13   President Bush signed a 10-year, $190 billion farm bill that promises to expand subsidies to growers.
June 27   GDP up 6.1 percent in Q1.
July 5   Foreign direct investment flows to developed countries declined by 56% in 2001, with the United States seeing the largest falloff to its lowest level since 1997.
July 8   Intel launches its Itanium 2 chip.
July 10 President Bush called for stiffer penalties to eradicate corporate fraud.
July 15   Pfizer to buy Pharmacia.
July 16 The dollar sank against the euro for the first time in more than two years.

Intel to eliminate 4,000 jobs.
July 21 WorldCom filed for bankruptcy protection.
July 22 The Dow Jones industrial average sank to its lowest level in nearly four years. Both the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are at their lowest levels since the first half of 1997.
July 30 President Bush signed into law the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act.
July 31 GDP growth slowed to 1.1 percent in Q2 from revised 5.0 percent in Q1. Last year's data was also revised indicating that the economy shrank in each of the first three quarters.

Venture capital investments hit four-year low.
August 8   IMF signed an emergency loan to Brazil.
August 11 U.S. Airways filed for bankruptcy.
August 20  The U.S. trade deficit narrowed in June, following two straight record monthly deficits.
September 27-
October 9:
Cargo operations at 29 West Coast ports ground to a halt when terminal operators locked out unionized workers
November 6 Federal funds rate reduced from 1.75 percent to 1.25 percent.
 Discount rate reduced from 1.25 percent to 0.75 percent.
December 9 United Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection.
December19 Standard & Poor’s lowered California’s bond rating to an A from an A+.
  Return to top
2003
February 10 Moody’s lowered California’s bond rating to A2 from A1.
February 14-17 Major snowstorm hit Middle Atlantic and Eastern states.
February 26 Doctors in Hong Kong report the first case of a flu-type virus “Atypical Pneumonia,” now more commonly known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome(SARS).
March 20 Operation Iraqi Freedom begins.
April 9 Baghdad falls and Iraqis and American troops topple stature of Saddam Hussein.
April 14 President Bush declares conclusion of major combat operations in Iraq.
June 25 Federal funds rate reduced from 1.25 percent to 1 percent, the lowest rate in 45 years.
June 26 GDP up 1.4 percent in Q1.
July 17 The US recession ended in November 2001, according to NBER.
July 24 S&P lowered California's bond rating from "A" to "BBB".
July 25 United States Treasury begins mailing $400 per child tax rebate checks.
August 2 Governor Gray Davis signs the 2003-04 state budget bill.
August 4 Moody's lowered California's bond rating from A2 to A3.
August 28 GDP grew at a revised 3.1 percent annual rate in the 2nd quarter.
September 3 Light vehicle sales in the U.S. reach 19.0 million in August, the second best monthly rate ever.
October 21 Wildfires breakout in Southern California, eventually burning 743,000 acres and destroying over 3,500 homes.
October 30 GDP grew by 7.2 percent, its fastest rate since 1984.
December 4 President Bush ends steel tariffs.
December 12 Dow Jones Industrial average closed above 10,000 for the first time since May 24, 2002.
December 13 Saddam Hussein captured by American troops.
December 23 Final report shows GDP grew by 8.2 percent in the third quarter, its fastest rate since 1984.
December 24 U.S. confirms first case of "mad cow" disease.
  Return to top
2004
February 10 Unexpected cut in OPEC quota and cold weather contribute to higher oil prices.
February 11 Dow Jones Industrials closed at highest level in more than 2-1/2 years.
March 25 Fourth quarter GDP rose 4.1 percent.
April 30 International oil prices hit a 3-1/2 year high.
May 27 First quarter GDP grew at a 4.4 percent annual rate.
June 30 Federal funds rate increased by 25 basis points bringing the rate up to 1.25 percent. It is over four years since the Fed last tightened rates.
August 9 Fitch removes California from Rating Watch Negative. 
August 10 Federal funds rate raised from 1.25 percent to 1.50 percent.
August 24 S&P raised California’s credit rating from “BBB” to “A”.
August 27 Second quarter GDP grew at a 2.8 percent annual rate.
Mid-August Hurricane Charley hits Florida
September Three powerful hurricanes (Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne) hit Florida and some neighboring states.
September 21 Federal funds rate raised from 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent.
October 29 GDP grew at a 3.7 percent rate in the third quarter.
November 10 Federal funds rate raised from 1.75 percent to 2.00 percent.
December 14 Federal funds rate raised from 2.00 percent to 2.25 percent.
December 22 GDP grew at a 4.0 percent annual rate in the third quarter.
December 26 A magnitude 9.0 earthquake –the largest in 40 years—struck the northern Indonesian island of Sumatra, triggering a tsunami that killed tens of thousands of people in more than 11 countries.
  Return to top
2005
January 22-24 Blizzards blanketed large parts of the Northeast.
January 30 Iraq held its first free election in half a century.
February 2 Federal funds rate raised from 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent.
March 22 Federal funds rate raised from 2.50 to 2.75 percent.
March 30 GDP grew at an annual rate of 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2004.
April 28 GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2005.
May 3 Federal funds rate raised from 2.75 to 3.00 percent
June 29 GDP increased at an upwardly revised 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2005.
June 30 Federal funds rate raised from 3.00 percent to 3.25 percent.
November 1 Federal funds rate raised from 3.75 percent to 4.00 percent.
December 13 Federal funds rate raised from 4.00 percent to 4.25 percent.
December 15 CPI posts biggest drop since 1949.
  Return to top
2006
January 31 Federal funds rate raised from 4.25 percent to 4.50 percent.
Alan Greenspan steps down after more than 18 years as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Ben Bernanke was sworn in as the new chairman of the Federal Reserve.
February 17 A total of 38,300 new and resale houses and condos were sold in California last month. That's down 27.5 percent from December and down 9.5 percent from January 2005.
Last month's sales count was the lowest since January 2002.

The median price paid for a home last month was $452,000. That’s down 1.3 percent from December and up 13.0 percent from January 2005. Last month's year-over-year increase was the lowest since a 12.4 percent increase in March 2003 when the median reached $290,000. Prices increased at their fastest rate in June 2004 when the $382,000 median was up 23.2 percent from the same month a year before.
February 28 GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2005, posting the smallest gain in three years.
March 28 Federal funds rate raised from 4.50 percent to 4.75 percent.
This is the fifteenth consecutive increase since June 2004 and the first since
Ben Bernanke took over as chairman of the Federal Reserve.
May 10 Federal funds rate raised from 4.75 percent to 5.00 percent.
May 17 Standard and Poor’s raised California’s bond rating to A+ from A.
Moody’s upgraded California’s bond rating to A1 from A2.
June 9 Fitch upgraded California’s bond rating to A+ from A.
June 29 GDP increased at an annual rate of 5.6 percent in the first quarter of 2006.
It was the strongest quarterly growth in 2 1/2 years. Federal funds rate raised from 5.00 percent to 5.25 percent.
June 30 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the 2006-07 state budget bill.
July 12 Hezbollah attacks Israel.
July (mid-late) Heat wave sets records across the United States and caused scattered power outages.
July 28 GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter of 2006.
August 7 BP announces plan to shutdown Prudhoe Bay oil field.
August 10 U.K. foils plot to bomb U.S.-bound airliners.
September 5 Intel announced that it will lay off about 10 percent of its work force.
September 12 California minimum wage legislation signed.
The $1.25 increase in the minimum wage will be phased in, with an increase of
75 cents on January 1, 2007 and an increase of 50 cents on January 1, 2008.
October 19 Dow Jones Industrials close above 12,000 for the first time.
October 27 GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.6% in the third quarter, down from 2.6% in the second quarter.
November 7 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger won a second term.

Voters in six states approved ballot measures raising the minimum wage, joining 18 other states in setting a wage higher than the federal mark of $5.15 an hour.
December 21 GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the third quarter.
  Return to top
2007
January 1 California minimum wage increased to $7.50 per hour from $6.75.
January 11 Vietnam becomes WTO member.
Mid-January Freezing temperatures in California caused some $1.3 billion in crop losses.
January 25-26 Sales of both new and existing homes in the U.S. suffered sharp declines last year.
The plunge in new home sales was the biggest drop since 1990 and sales of existing homes saw its biggest decline since 1989.
February Crippling winter storms blanketed large swaths of the Midwest and Northeast with snow, ice and freezing rain.
February 21 Rising default rates hitting subprime mortgage industry hard.
February 27 Dow Jones industrial average down 416 points, biggest one-day point loss since 2001, after declining markets in China and Europe and a steep drop in durable goods orders triggered a massive sell-off on Wall Street.
February 28 GDP grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the 4th quarter –a considerably weaker rate than what the government first estimated.
March 2 The latest benchmark revision to the California labor market statistics shows nonfarm payroll employment growth was considerably stronger than what was first estimated.
March 14 President Bush issues a disaster declaration for California counties hurt by the January deep freeze.
March 29 Fourth quarter GDP revised upwards to 2.5 percent.
April 16 The number of default notices sent to California homeowners last quarter increased to its highest level in almost ten years, the result of flat appreciation, slow sales, and post teaser-rate mortgage resets.
April 25 Dow Jones Industrials close above 13,000 for the first time.
April 27 First quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.3 percent.
May 3 S&P 500 closed above 1,500 for the first time in more than six years.
Dow Jones Industrials surged to a record high for the sixth time in seven sessions.
May 4 US payroll job growth slowest since 2004. The Dow Jones industrial average hit another record high making this the longest bull run in 80 years.
May 31 First quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent. That’s down from its initial estimate of 1.3 percent growth.
July 24 Federal minimum wage increased to $5.85 from $5.15 per hour.
July 26 The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 311.50 points or 2.3 percent amid concerns about housing and credit markets.
August 2 Mattel says it is recalling 1.5 million Chinese-made toys worldwide marking the latest in a string of recalls that have fueled U.S.-China tensions over the safety of Chinese products.
August 9 The Dow Jones industrial average was down 387.18 points or 2.8 percent as worries about the global credit market sparked a broad sell-off in stocks.
August 10 The Federal Reserve injected $38 billion into the banking system in an effort to provide liquidity as needed to keep financial markets operating normally.
August 17 The Federal Reserve, reacting to concerns about the subprime lending crisis, cut its discount rate half a percentage point to 5.75 percent.
August 23 Bank of America invests $2 billion in Countrywide Financial Corporation, helping the nation’s largest mortgage lender shore up its finances as it struggles with a liquidity crunch.
August 24 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the 2007-08 state budget bill.
August 28 The Dow Jones industrial average closed down 280.28 points or 2.1 percent as investors were hit by fresh worries over declining consumer confidence, falling home prices, shrinking profits on Wall Street and uncertainty about the Federal Reserve.
August 30 Second quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 4 percent. That’s up from its initial estimate of 3.4 percent growth.
September 10 Blasts rip Mexico gas and oil pipelines.
September 18 Federal funds rate target reduced from 5.25 percent to 4.75 percent.
Discount rate cut from 5.75 percent to 5.25 percent.
September 27 Second quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.8 percent. That’s down from its preliminary estimate of 4 percent.
October 21-26 Southern California wildfires
October 31 Federal funds rate target reduced from 4.75 percent to 4.50 percent.
Discount rate cut from 5.25 percent to 5 percent.
November 1 The Federal Reserve injects $41 billion in temporary reserves into the US money markets.
November 5- Members of the Writers Guild of America strike.
November 12 Citigroup, Bank of America, and JPMorganChase agree to a $75 billion superfund to restore confidence to credit markets.
November 15 US House of Representatives passes the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007.
December 6 President Bush announces a plan to voluntarily and temporarily freeze the mortgage rates of a limited number of mortgage debtors holding adjustable rate mortgages.
December 11 Federal funds rate target reduced from 4.50 percent to 4.25 percent.
Discount rate cut from 5 percent to 4.75 percent.
December 12 The Federal Reserve injects $40B into the money supply and coordinates such efforts with central banks from Canada, United Kingdom, Switzerland and European Union.
December 18 The Federal Reserve approves measures to give mortgage holders more protection to prevent the current housing crisis from worsening further.
December 20 Third quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.9 percent.
December 21 In California, sales of new and existing houses and condos were down 39 percent from a year ago in November. Sales have declined in the last 26 months on a year-over-year basis. The median price paid for a home was down 2.4 percent from the prior month and down 11.9 percent from a year ago. Financing with adjustable-rate mortgages and with multiple mortgages have dropped sharply. Foreclosure activity is at record levels.
December Banks, mortgage lenders, real estate investment trusts, and hedge funds continue to suffer significant losses as a result of mortgage payment defaults and mortgage asset devaluation.
  Return to top
2008
January 1 California minimum wage increased to $8.00 per hour from $7.50.
January 11 Bank of America agrees to purchase Countrywide Financial.
January 14 Fitch assigns Negative Rating Watch to State of California.
January 21-22 Global stock markets plunge.
January 22 Federal funds rate target reduced from 4.25 percent to 3.5 percent, the biggest one-day interest rate reduction on record.
January 30 Federal funds rate target reduced from 3.5 percent to 3 percent.
February 12 Hollywood writers strike ends.
February 19 Crude oil price tops $100 a barrel.
March 13 Gold futures hit $1000 an ounce for the first time.

Crude oil price tops $110 a barrel.  Gas prices rise to another record high.
March 16 JPMorgan agrees to buy Bear Stearns for a mere fraction of what it was once worth.
March 17 The Fed expanded the range of programs to boost financial market liquidity and cut the discount rate by 25 basis points, to 3.25 percent
March 18 Federal funds rate target reduced from 3 percent to 2.25 percent.
March 27 Fourth quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent, compared with 4.9 percent in the third quarter.
April 15 Retail chains caught in a wave of bankruptcies.
April 16 Consumer prices, over the past 12 months, is up by 4 percent, reflecting sharp gains in energy costs, which are up 17 percent over that period, and food prices, which are up 4.4 percent.
April 30 Federal funds rate target reduced from 2.25 percent to 2 percent.
First quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 0.6 percent.
May 12 China earthquake
May-June Gasoline prices set new all-time highs.
June 26 First quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 1 percent.
.
Crude oil hits new high of $140 a barrel.
July 6 Extended unemployment insurance benefits begin.
July 11 IndyMac Bank seized by federal regulators.
July 30 President Bush signs housing rescue law.
August 8 Georgia-Russia conflict escalates.
August 28 Second quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent.
September 1 Hurricane Gustav strikes land west of New Orleans.
September 7 The U.S. government takes over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
September 13 Hurricane Ike hits Texas.
September 14 Merrill Lynch sold to Bank of America.
September 15 Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy protection.
September 17 The Federal Reserve loans $85 billion to American International Group (AIG).
September 19 Treasury to provide temporary guarantees for money market mutual funds.
September 23 Governor Schwarzenegger signs record-late state budget.
September 25 Washington Mutual was seized by the FDIC, and its banking assets were sold to JP MorganChase.
September 26 Second quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.8 percent.
September 29 Citigroup buys banking operations of Wachovia.
October 1 Financial crisis spreads to Europe.
October 3 The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (commonly referred to as a bailout of the U.S. financial system) became law.
  Wells Fargo to merge with Wachovia.
October 6 - 10 Worst week for the stock market in 75 years.
October 6 Fed provides $900 billion in short-term cash loans to banks.
October 7 Fed makes emergency move to lend around $1.3 trillion directly to companies.
October 8 Federal funds rate target reduced from 2 percent to 1.5 percent.
The discount rate was cut to 1.75 percent.
October 11 The Dow Jones Industrial Average caps its worst week ever with its highest volatility day ever recorded in its 112 year history.
October 12 European leaders announce recapitalization plans for Europe's banks.
October 24 OPEC to cut oil output by 1.5 million barrels a day.
October 29 Federal funds rate target reduced from 1.5 percent to 1 percent.
October 30 Third quarter GDP declines 0.3 percent.
November 3 Boeing machinists’ 57-day strike ends.
November 15- Wildfires burn five Southern California counties.
November 17 Japan is officially in recession.
November 24 The federal government approves plan to help Citigroup.
December 1 Recession in the US began in December 2007, according to NBER.
December 16 The Federal Reserve cut the federal funds rate target to a range of between zero percent and 0.25 percent.
December 17 OPEC to cut oil production starting January in a bid to prop up falling oil prices.
December 19 U.S. auto industry bailout approved.
December 23 Third quarter GDP decreased at an annual rate of 0.5 percent.
  Return to top
2009
January 20       Barack Obama inaugurated as the 44th President of the U.S.
January 23 British economy is officially in recession.
February 3 S&P lowered California's bond rating to A from A+.
February 17

President Obama signed the $787 billion economic stimulus package into law.
The "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" includes a variety of spending measures and tax cuts intended to promote economic recovery.

February 18

President Obama unveiled the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan.

February 20 California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs the 2009-10 state budget bill.
February 27 Fourth quarter GDP decreased at an annual rate of 6.2 percent.
March 2 Dow Jones Industrial Average drops below 7000 for the first time since 1997.
March 19 Moody's lowered California's bond rating from A1 to A2.
Fitch lowered California's bond rating from A+ to A.
March 23 U.S. Treasury Secretary unveils the Public-Private Investment Program.
April 23 California adopts low carbon fuel standards.
April 26 Swine Flu declared public health emergency.
April 29 First quarter GDP decreased at annual rate of 6.1 percent.
April 30 Chrysler files for bankruptcy.
May 7 Governor Schwarzenegger proclaims state of emergency in Santa Barbara due to Jesusita wildfire.
June 1 General Motors files for bankruptcy.
June 10 Fiat completes acquisition of Chrysler assets.
June 25 First quarter GDP decreased at annual rate of 5.5 percent.
July 6 Fitch Ratings downgraded California’s long-term bond rating from A- to BBB.
Moody's lowered the State's rating from A2 to Baa1.
July 24

Dow closes above 9000; first time since January.

Federal minimum wage jumps from $6.55 an hour to $7.25 an hour.

July 28 Case-Shiller index shows first rise in U.S. housing prices in 3 years.
August 24 Cash-for-Clunkers program ends.
August 27 Second quarter GDP fell 1 percent, unchanged from the advance estimate in July and following a 6.4% drop in Q1.
October 14 Dow closes above 10,000 for the first time in a year.
October 29 Third quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent..
November 6

Jobless benefit extended.

Homebuyer tax credit extended and expanded.

December 22 Third quarter GDP annual growth rate is 2.2%, per final estimate.
December 31 Down 25 percent at its March 9, 2009 nadir, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 59 percent, and finished the year up 19 percent. The Nasdaq increased 79 percent and ended 2009 up 44 percent. The S&P 500 rose 65 percent, finishing the year up 23 percent.
  Return to top
2010
January 13      S&P lowered California's bond rating to A- from A.
January 28       The Senate confirmed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's second term.
February 18       The Federal Reserve raised the discount rate charged to banks for direct loans by a quarter point to 0.75 percent..
February 26      Fourth quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 5.9 percent.
February 27      Chile earthquake
March 23    Obama signs landmark health care overhaul bill.
April 2-      BP massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
April 14-20      Ash clouds from an Icelandic volcano shut down airports across Europe.
April 15      Obama signs extension of jobless benefits..
April 30     First quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.2 percent.
May 27 Revised first quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.0 percent.
July 21    The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was signed into law
by President Obama.
July 22     President Obama signed a six-month extension of emergency jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.
July 30     Second quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.4 percent.
In the first quarter, GDP increased 3.7 percent.
September 16    US poverty rate jumped to 14.3% in 2009, its highest level since 1994, and the 43.6 million Americans in need is the highest number in 51 years of record-keeping, according to the Census Bureau.
September 20    

The US recession ended in June 2009, according to the NBER.

Californians’ income falls for the first time since WWII.

September 30    Second quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.7 percent.
In the first quarter, GDP increased 3.7 percent.
October 15     In 2011, for the second straight year, there will be no inflation-based increase in Social Security benefits.
November 3     The Federal Reserve announced a second round of quantitative easing through the purchase of $600 billion in long term Treasury bonds.
December 17     President Obama signed into law an extension of the existing federal income tax cuts and long-term unemployment benefits. The bill also includes a 2% rollback of Social Security payroll taxes.
December 22     Third quarter GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent.
In the second quarter, GDP increased 1.7 percent.
2011

January-February    

Commodity prices soaring.

Uprisings in the Middle East.

February 25     Fourth quarter real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.8 percent.
In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.
March 11     Powerful earthquake and tsunami devastate Northern Japan.
March 19     U.S. joins airstrikes in Libya.
March 25     Fourth quarter real GDP increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent.
In the third quarter, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.
April 27     Tornadoes ravaged the South.
May 1     Osama bin Laden has been killed.
May 26     First quarter real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.8 percent.
In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent.
July 11    Debt problems in Europe and U.S. weigh on U.S. stocks.
July 15      Monthly inflation retreats on lower gas prices.
July 29     

Real GDP rose by 1.3 percent in Q2. Downward adjustments to the prior 3 quarters were made.
Benchmark revision revealed a deeper recession than previously reported.

August 2    Obama signs debt ceiling bill.
August 4    Wall Street suffers worst selloff in two years.
August 5    S&P downgrades U.S. credit rating.
August 28    Hurricane Irene hammers the Northeast.
September 21    The Federal Reserve decided to extend the average maturity of their security holdings by buying $400 billion of longer-dated securities and selling $400 billion of shorter-dated securities by the end of June 2012.
September 22
 
Dow Jones industrials sees biggest two-day decline since December 2008.
October 21    Obama signs free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama..
November 30 Six Central Banks take joint action to enhance global liquidity.
December 15    U.S. marks end to Iraq war.
December 23    President Obama signed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.
   
2012

February 1

Facebook filed for an IPO.

February 8 States reached $25 billion settlement with banks over foreclosure abuses.
February 14 S&P upgrades California's financial outlook.
February 22 President Obama signed into law the extension of the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits.
April 20 California’s labor market continued its slow improvement in March as employers added jobs for the eighth straight month.
April 27 Advance estimate of first-quarter Real GDP growth came in at 2.2 percent, down from 3.0 percent growth in the fourth quarter.
May 18 Facebook IPO
June 20 The Federal Reserve extends 'Operation Twist' through the end of 2012.
June 21 Moody's cuts credit ratings of 15 major banks.
June 28 Revised estimate of first-quarter Real GDP growth came in at 1.9 percent, down from 3.0 percent growth in the fourth quarter.
  Supreme Court upholds health care law.
August 1 The city of San Bernardino, CA files for bankruptcy.
August 6 Fire at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, CA
Late-August Hurricane Isaac caused destruction along the northern Gulf Coast.
August 29 Revised estimate of second-quarter Real GDP growth came in at 1.7 percent.
September 6 European Central Bank to launch an “outright monetary transactions” program.
September 15 Amazon.com to start collecting California sales tax.
October 10 Spain’s credit rating downgraded by S&P
October 11 The nation’s foreclosures fall to 5-year low.
October 28-29 Superstorm Sandy slams the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states.
November 14 California’s cap-and-trade program is launched.
December 20 Third-quarter Real GDP grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 3.1percent,
the fastest rate of growth since the fourth quarter of 2011.
   
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