The week ahead may be the last for ZIRP. That's the in-the-know acronym for "zero interest rate policy." It's been the Federal Reserve's standard since December 2008.
Since then, there have been four generations of iPhones, two new U.S. Supreme Court justices sworn in, and the American economy has grown by 20 percent. It was done at the worst of the Great Recession and it has lasted ever since.
This week, however, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said she is "looking forward" to raising U.S. interest rates. Dennis Lockhart, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and a member of the Fed group that sets rates, said there is a "compelling" case to raise rates at the group's next meeting.
That meeting isn't until Dec. 15-16, but by their words, it appears Fed officials continue preparing investors for something they haven't experienced in more than a decade -- an environment of rising interest rates.
Admittedly, any action by the Fed to hike the cost of borrowing will be small and slow. It's not guaranteed to be steady. Interest rates on mortgages, car loans and credit cards may inch up as well. Some, in anticipation, already have.
Even after eight years in place, zero percent interest rates are not normal. The week ahead may be the last for unconventional monetary strategies even as many investors (and borrowers) have grown accustomed to them.
Financial journalist Tom Hudson, host of "The Sunshine Economy" on WLRN-FM in Miami, is the former co-anchor and managing editor of "Nightly Business Report" on public television. Follow him on Twitter@HudsonsView.