What is the Federal Open Market Committee?
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is a committee within the Federal Reserve System that sets national monetary policy. The FOMC conducts the nation's monetary policy by managing the level of short-term interest rates and influencing the availability and cost of credit in the economy. The FOMC makes all decisions regarding the conduct of open market operations, which affect the federal funds rate (the rate at which depository institutions lend to each other), the size and composition of the Federal Reserve's asset holdings, and communications with the public about the likely future course of monetary policy. The FOMC typically meets eight times a year in Washington, D.C., and at other times as needed.