Credit and Liquidity Programs and the Balance Sheet
- Crisis response
- Fed's balance sheet
- Fed financial reports
- Federal Reserve liabilities
- Open market operations
- Central bank liquidity swaps
- Lending to depository institutions
- Lending to primary dealers
- Other lending facilities
- Support for specific institutions
- Collateral and rate setting
Federal Reserve System Financial Reports
The Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve Banks, and the consolidated LLCs are all subject to several levels of audit and review. The Reserve Banks' financial statements and those of the consolidated LLC entities are audited annually by an independent audit firm retained by the Board of Governors. To ensure auditor independence, the Board requires that the external auditor be independent in all matters relating to the audit. Specifically, the external auditor may not perform services for the Reserve Banks or others that would place it in a position of auditing its own work, making management decisions on behalf of the Reserve Banks, or in any other way impairing its audit independence. In addition, the Reserve Banks, including the consolidated LLCs, are subject to oversight by the Board.
The Board of Governors' financial statements are audited annually by an independent audit firm retained by the Board's Office of Inspector General. The audit firm also provides a report on compliance and on internal control over financial reporting in accordance with government auditing standards. The Office of Inspector General also conducts audits, reviews, and investigations relating to the Board's programs and operations as well as of Board functions delegated to the Reserve Banks.
The financial statements of the Board of Governors and the consolidated LLCs are prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States ("GAAP"); those of the Federal Reserve Banks are prepared in accordance with the Financial Accounting Manual for Federal Reserve Banks ("Financial Accounting Manual"). Accounting principles for entities with the unique powers and responsibilities of the nation's central bank have not been formulated by accounting standard-setting bodies. The Board of Governors has developed specialized accounting principles and practices that it considers to be appropriate for the nature and function of a central bank. These accounting principles and practices are documented in the Financial Accounting Manual.
The primary difference between the accounting principles and practices in the Financial Accounting Manual and GAAP is the presentation of all System Open Market Account (SOMA) securities holdings at amortized cost rather than the fair value presentation required by GAAP. Treasury securities, government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) debt securities, Federal agency and GSE mortgage-backed securities, and investments denominated in foreign currencies comprising the SOMA are recorded at cost on a settlement-date basis rather than the trade-date basis required by GAAP. The cost basis of Treasury securities, GSE debt securities, and foreign government debt instruments is adjusted for amortization of premiums or accretion of discounts on a straight-line basis. Amortized cost more appropriately reflects the Reserve Banks' securities holdings given the System's unique responsibility to conduct monetary policy. Accounting for these securities on a settlement-date basis more appropriately reflects the timing of the transactions' effects on the quantity of reserves in the banking system. Although the application of fair value measurements to the securities holdings may result in values substantially above or below their carrying values, these unrealized changes in value have no direct effect on the quantity of reserves available to the banking system or on the prospects for future Reserve Bank earnings or capital. Both the domestic and foreign components of the SOMA portfolio may involve transactions that result in gains or losses when holdings are sold prior to maturity. Decisions regarding securities and foreign currency transactions, including their purchase and sale, are motivated by monetary policy objectives rather than profit. Accordingly, fair values, earnings, and gains or losses resulting from the sale of such securities and currencies are incidental to the open market operations and do not motivate decisions related to policy or open market activities.
In addition, the Reserve Banks do not present a Statement of Cash Flows because the liquidity and cash positions of the Reserve Banks are not a primary concern given the Reserve Banks' unique powers and responsibilities. Other information regarding the Reserve Banks' activities is provided in, or may be derived from, the Combined Statements of Condition, Income and Comprehensive Income, and Changes in Capital.
The quarterly financial reports present summary financial information on the combined financial position and results of operations of the Reserve Banks. The combined information includes the accounts and results of operations of each of the 12 Reserve Banks and several consolidated variable interest entities. All financial information included in the quarterly financial reports is unaudited.
|Federal Reserve Banks Combined Quarterly Financial Reports (Unaudited)|