smart spending

10 years that shook America's finances

Year 2001Year 2002Year 2003Year 2004Year 2005Year 2006Year 2007Year 2008Year 2009Year 2010

Year 2004: Facebook and Google: Recognize them?

  • Seeking to reduce the chance of inflation, the Fed chooses to hike the federal funds rate in June for the first time in four years from 1 percent to 1.25 percent. The move marks the beginning of a rate-hiking spree by the Fed that would last until Aug. 17, 2007.
  • Facebook and Google begin to define the contemporary Internet landscape.

    On Feb. 4, Mark Zuckerberg and three friends launch Facebook in a Harvard dorm room. By the end of the year, the site would have more than 1 million users, and by 2010, it will balloon to more than 400 million.

    On Aug. 18, Google launches an initial public stock offering at $85 per share. The stock will eventually reach $747 in November 2007.
  • Costs associated with military action in Afghanistan and Iraq and newly enacted tax cuts drive the U.S. deficit to 3.48 percent of the U.S. gross national product, the highest percentage since 1994.
  • Due in part to rising demand from China and India and political instability in the Middle East, crude oil prices begin a sustained climb, breaking $40 per barrel for the first time in history during the week ending Oct. 1.
  • In December, the euro reaches a high against the U.S. dollar, rising to $1.36, and provoking fears the dollar would be supplanted as the world's reserve currency.

-- Claes Bell

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