$5 trillion just evaporated. What you need to know about the financial markets today

Why now? The possibility that the Federal Reserve Board will move next month to raise interest rates and head off a jump in consumer prices is one of the leading explanations for the market correction offered by experts to Bloomberg. Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank, says the “proverbial punch in the punch bowl is leaving the party,” referring, of course, to 1950s-era Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin’s explanation of the central bank’s inflation-fighting role. For 10 years, the Fed has been artificially repressing volatility, allowing investors to live in “fantasy land,” notes Chad Morganlander, a portfolio manager at Washington Crossing Advisors. No more.