How FOMC works?

I was reading this oldish speech by Lawrence Meyer, ex-Governor of Fed. It is a fun and insightful reading on how FOMC actually works and takes its decisions. It is not the usual speech on monetary policy, benefits etc. but on the real time decision making.  The lecture is superbly titled as Come with me to FOMC and does full justice to it.

This is so funny:

My concern about the public awareness of the FOMC was heightened recently during one of the weekly luncheons Governors host for a small group comprised of the staffs at the Board and Treasury. A very senior member of the Treasury staff, during our luncheon conversation, asked me if I knew what “FOMC” stood for. A strange question, I thought, coming from so knowledgeable a person. I replied that I thought I did, but, just to be sure, what did he believe it stood for? He replied “Fruit Of the Month Club.”

So I begin my lecture by noting that FOMC, for the purpose of this lecture, stands for the Federal Open Market Committee. This Committee, established in the Banking Act of 1935, came into existence on March 1, 1936. It consists of the seven Governors of the Federal Reserve Board and five presidents of the regional Federal Reserve Banks.

🙂 Well, if a senior Treasury staffer did not know the meaning of FOMC, one can just imagine the case with others. That is why reading this Alan Blinder speech is so important. We econs need to understand a few basics before working with the Govt.

Coming back to the speech, he explains the FOMC in such detail that one can actually feel like a FOMC member participating in a meeting. One can extend the dream a bit further and dream about dissenting with Bernanke 🙂

I am actually now looking for such speeches from other central bankers-  Come with me to BoE MPC, Come with me to Governing Council Meeting at ECB (this one will be very very interesting as you have 16 central bankers from the other economies participating), Come with me to BoJ MPC etc etc. Even knowing about RBI Mon Pol meeting would be very informative.

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2 Responses to “How FOMC works?”

  1. Why US has so many banks? « Mostly Economics Says:

    […] Fed Governor where he shed some light on this issue.  Though the speech is much like the Larry Meyer speech on explaining FOMC, still gives some […]

  2. Inside the FOMC – it is all chaos out there Says:

    […] a more detailed outlook one should read this superb speech from Lawrence […]

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