But the bursting of a "bond bubble" -- that dreaded scenario in which bond prices fall further and a sharp spike in interest rates would leave bond investors saddled with heavy losses -- never came to pass. Long-term rates are still relatively low.
So what about 2014?
With the Fed finally beginning to wind down, or taper, its $85 billion per month bond-buying program, economists think rates will go higher next year.
"There's so much of an expectation that rates are going to rise that it's going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Jim Vogel, who oversees interest rate strategy at FTN Financial.
But Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's announcement Wednesday that the central bank would begin dialing back its stimulus by $10 billion per month did little to move the needle on bond yields.
Bernanke on Fed taper in 90 seconds
That's a far cry from this summer, when taper fears sparked widespread selling in the bond market and pushed the yield on the 10-year Treasury note from 1.6% in May to nearly 3% by September. (Bond yields rise when prices fall.)