The Last Time the Fed Raised Rates, No One Had an iPhone Yet

Motorola's Launch of the MotoRAZR in Japan - Pink Carpet
Paris Hilton at Launch of MOTORAZR in Japan with Michael Tatelman (Vice President and General Manager of MotoPro Product Group in Motorola PCS) (Photo by Jun Sato/WireImage for MOTOROLA)
Jun Sato WireImage for Motorola

The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday, a move the U.S. central bank has not done since June 2006. It would be an understatement to say a lot has changed in these past nine years–not just in financial markets, but all around us. Take a look at the tech world. Where flip phones the size of a child’s hand once ruled, we now have over five-inch smartphones. Digital songs are now the norm, as is video streaming. The pop culture world is just as affected by the times. Let’s not forget that 90s pop princess Britney Spears was on the brink of her downwards spiral and Justin Bieber was a mere 12 years old.

In the spirit of walking down memory lane, we’d like to remind you what things were like back in 2006.


Super Bowl XL - Pittsburgh Steelers vs Seattle Seahawks The Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLG. N. Lowrance Getty Images

Football: On Feb. 5, 2006, the Pittsburgh Steelers more than doubled the score of the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit to win the 40th Super Bowl. The Rolling Stones performed for the halftime show.

NCAA Basketball: The Florida Gators came out on top of March Madness, which was their first of two wins. The same starting five Gators repeated the following season, making them the first team to win back-to-back championships since 1992.

NBA: The Miami Heat, with the help of MVP Dwyane Wade, beat the Dallas Mavericks in June to become the NBA champions.

MLB: The St. Louis Cardinals were just shy of clinching the World Series with a 4-1 run over the Detroit Tigers.

Winter Olympics: Turin, Italy hosted 80 countries at the XX Winter Olympic Games in February. Germany led the medal count with 29, four more than the second-ranked U.S.



2006 Billboard Music Awards - Press Room The cast of “High School Musical” at the Billboard Music AwardsJason Merritt FilmMagic

Album: Disney Channel’s (DIS) High School Musical soundtrack sold over 3.7 million units, making it the top selling album of the year.

Artist: Country group Rascal Flatts sold the most music out of any other artist thanks to their 2006 album Me and My Gang. Billboard chose Chris Brown as the top new artist of the year.

Digital Sales: With music downloading on the rise, a digital song, Bad Day by Daniel Powter, broke 2 million in sales for the first time. American Idol fans will remember it as the song played when contestants were voted off the show.

Radio: Billboard ranked Be Without You by Mary J. Blige as the top radio song of 2006.


2006 American Idol Winner Taylor Hicks In Concert at Borgata's Music Box in Atlantic City - April 14, 2007 Taylor Hicks, winner of 2006’s “American Idol” Nick Valinote FilmMagic

Reality: American Idol, in its fifth season, was the most popular scheduled program with both its Tuesday and Wednesday episodes. Taylor Hicks was crowned the winner, with other popular contestants including runner-up Katherine McPhee, Kellie Pickler, and Chris Daughtry.

Comedy: The Office, in its third season, took home the Emmy in its category for Outstanding Comedy Series.

Drama: Jack Bauer helped 24, which first aired in 2001, nab the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series.


2006 Teen Choice Awards - Show Johnny Depp accepting a Teen Choice award for “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest”KMazur WireImage

Top Grossing: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, the second film in the series, earned $423 million in 2006, making it the box-office winner. The second-ranked film of the year, Night at the Museum, paled in comparison, grossing only $251 million.

Best Picture: Martin Scorsese’s The Departed took home the Oscar for Best Picture and Best Director.

Best Actor: Forest Whitaker scored the Best Actor nod for his role in The Last King of Scotland.

Best Actress: Helen Mirren outshone her competition with her character portrayal in The Queen, earning her the statue for Best Actress.


Celebrity Sightings at the Los Angeles Dodgers vs Cincinnati Reds - August 28, 2006 Pamela Anderson and husband Kid Rock during a baseball game in 2006Jon Soohoo WireImage

Marriage: In 2006, Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock were married. Anderson opted for a white bikini as her bridal wear. The couple also divorced that year, just four months after they were married.

Break-Up: The now-forgotten couple Alanis Morissette and Ryan Reynolds also called it quits in ’06. Reynolds’ current wife, actress Blake Lively, was just shy of turning 18 the last time the Fed increased interest rates.

Taylor Swift: The country-turned-pop star was 17 years old in 2006 when she released her hit Our Song.


David Beckham, a soccer player for the Los Angeles Galaxy, i David Beckham introduces a new Motorola RAZR phoneBloomberg via Getty Images

Cellphones: The Motorola RAZR (MSI) was the best-selling mobile device, with more than 50 million phones sold since it was released two years earlier.

Apple: In 2006, the iPhone (AAPL) was not yet released and iTunes sold its one billionth song.

Facebook: The social media giant (FB) was just a 2-year old company and its founder Mark Zuckerberg was just able to legally drink alcohol.

Cars: The Ford (F) F-series truck ruled the road in 06′ according to


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