Monetary Policy Paper

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Monetary Policy Paper
"Monetary Policy is the most significant function of the Fed; it is probably the most-used policy in macroeconomics" (Colander, 2004, p. 661). This paper will discuss and elaborate on "The Monetary Policy Report" submitted to the Congress on February 11, 2003 and concepts of Macroeconomics by David Colander. The state of the economy, concerns of the Federal Reserve, and the stated direction of recent monetary policy will also be discussed. "Monetary policy is a policy of influencing the economy through changes in the banking system's reserves that influence the money supply and credit availability in the economy" (Colander, 2004, p. 659). Monetary policy also refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 gave the Federal Reserve responsibility for setting monetary policy. The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy- open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements. "An open market operation is the Fed's buying and selling of government securities (the only type of asset the Fed is allowed by law to hold in any appreciable quantity). These open market operations are the primary tool of monetary policy" (Colander, 2004, p.667). The discount rate is the interest rate charged to commercial banks and other depository institutions on loans they receive from their regional Federal Reserve Bank's lending facility. The Federal Reserve Banks offer three discount window programs to depository institutions: primary credit, secondary credit, and seasonal credit, each with its own interest rate. Reserve requirements are the amount of funds that a depository institution must hold in reserve against specified deposit liabilities. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal Open Market Committee is responsible for open market operations. Using the three tools, the Federal Reserve influences the demand for, and supply of, balances that depository institutions hold at Federal Reserve Banks and in this way alters the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight. State of the Economy is apart from the geopolitical and other uncertainties; the forces affecting demand this year appear, on balance, conducive to a moderate strengthening of the economic expansion. Monetary policy remains highly accommodative, and federal fiscal policy is and likely will be simulative. Activity abroad is expected to improve this year, even if at a less robust pace than in the United States; such growth together with the improving competitiveness of U.S. products should generate stronger demand for our exports. Furthermore, robust gains in productivity, though unlikely to be as large as in 2002, ought to continue to promote both household and business spending. Household purchasing power should be supported as well by a retreat in the price of imported energy products that is suggested by the oil futures market. And the adverse effects on household spending from past declines in equity wealth probably will begin to wane. Meanwhile, federal outlays increased nearly 8 percent in fiscal 2002 and 11 percent excluding a decline in net interest expenses. Spending increased notably in many categories, including defense, homeland security, Medicaid, and income security (which includes the temporary extended unemployment compensation program). Federal government consumption and investment the part of spending that is counted in GDP rose more than 7 percent in real terms in 2002. (Government spending on items such as interest payments and transfers are not counted in GDP because they do not constitute a direct...
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