Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC)

As we get closer to the next meeting of the FOMC, on Nov 2-3, anticipation will be evident everywhere as the wait for their announcement describing the form of quantitative easing (QE) ends. The form it takes is possibly less important than if there will be another round of QE. Since it is widely anticipated already, there will likely be a negative reaction if the FOMC does not make some definitive statement of their intentions for using QE and the measures that convinced them to take that path. In the process of assembling this post, the structure of the Fed and the FOMC emerged and adds to the understanding of this integral organization. The next page is mostly information from the Federal Reserves web site, briefly describing the FOMC makeup and terms. Also, there are links to recent talks given by Fed Governors or Branch Presidents. In addition, there is a message regarding their personal opinion on QE being utilized again, taken from the talk linked by their name. Finally, there is a summary of the members current public position on QE, at the meeting in September when a vote was taken, and in the talks some have given since then.

Structure of the FOMC
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of twelve members--the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. The rotating seats are filled from the following four groups of Banks, one Bank president from each group: Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond; Cleveland and Chicago; Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas; and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents attend the meetings of the Committee, participate in the discussions, and contribute to the Committee's assessment of the economy and policy options.
The FOMC holds eight regularly scheduled meetings per year. At these meetings, the Committee reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth.
For more detail on the FOMC and monetary policy, see section 2 of the brochure on the structure of the Federal Reserve System and chapter 2 of Purposes & Functions of the Federal Reserve System.

2010 Members of the FOMC
 At the September FOMC meeting, the message to provide "additional accomodation if needed" and maintain the current accomodation program was voted on. The following members voted in favor of the message: Ben bernanke, William Dudley, James Bullard, Elizabeth Duke, Sandra Pianalto, Eric Rosengren, Daniel Tarullo, and Kevin Warsh. Voting against was Thomas Hoenig.

The blogger, Calculated Risk, made this observation after the September 21 FOMC meeting in the article titled FOMC Statement: "Prepared to provide additional accommodation ". It includes the way members voted then. Finally, here is a link to the whole FOMC statement ... Sept 21 FOMC statement.