The Federal Reserve
What Everyone Needs to Know®
Stephen H. Axilrod
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Background
Why is the Federal Reserve ("the Fed") so important to the country?
How in general does the Fed compare with other central banks?
How does a central bank differ from other banks and financial institutions?
If so crucial to national policy, why is the Fed independent of the government?
Chapter 2: The Fed's Organization for Policy
Where does responsibility for monetary policy decisions reside in the Fed?
What does the FOMC do and how is it organized?
How are other monetary policy instruments controlled?
How is the politically appointed Board of Governors chosen?
How are Reserve Banks governed?
What role do Reserve Banks play in the policy process?
Should the regional structure of the Fed be modified for today's world?
Should reserve bank presidents be politically appointed?
Do members and directors of Fed banks unduly profit or exert influence?
What happens to the profits from Fed operations?
What is the underlying connection between the government and the Fed?
How does the government keep tabs on the Fed?
What does it mean in practice to say the Fed is independent?
Chapter 3: Basic Monetary Policy Objectives
What are the Fed's basic objectives?
How does the Fed take account of it economic goals?
What role do Fed chairman play in focusing the institution's goals?
In what sense are the objectives compatible with each other?
What does price stability mean?
What makes the Fed prefer a little rather than no inflation as its practical goal?
What inflation rate seems to satisfy the goal of price stability?
Has the Fed specified a target rate of inflation?
Chapter 4: Instruments of Monetary Policy
How are the Fed's monetary instruments employed in the policy process?
Which of the Fed's instruments are most significant for implementing policy?
How are open market operation employed?
How does the funds rate connect with money market conditions in general?
How does the funds rate decision affect other credit markets and spending?
How do open market operations avoid creating too much money and inflation?
Does the money market itself influence spending or is it mostly a policy conduit?
Are the Fed's powers also used to influence the government market in particular?