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The Complete Idiot’s Guide® To: Economic Indicators by Mark R. Rogers

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Chapter 19. The Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy

In This Chapter

  • The purpose of monetary policy

  • The Federal Open Market Committee

  • The Fed’s traditional policy tools

  • Where the regional Fed Banks fit in

Remember what a big deal the employment report is for financial markets? While the employment report can rattle markets, when the Federal Reserve (the Fed to you insiders) makes an unexpected interest rate move, that’s more like an earthquake!

Yes, nothing gets market attention like a Fed move. And because the Fed is in charge of monetary policy, we first take a look at just what monetary policy is and then talk about how the Fed goes about its business.

What Is Monetary Policy?

Why is there a Federal Reserve? Let’s indirectly get to that by first talking ...

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