This section of the Board of Governors' website is one of several efforts that the Federal Reserve has undertaken in recent years to enhance transparency of monetary policy. Other actions have included:
- the issuance by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) of a statement announcing and explaining its monetary policy decision immediately after each of its meetings, as well as periodic additional statements on its longer-run policy goals and strategies and policy normalization principles and plans;
- the FOMC's release of detailed minutes of its meetings three weeks after each meeting;
- the FOMC's publication of quarterly summaries of policymakers' economic forecasts;
- the quarterly press conference by the Chair following certain FOMC meetings;
- pursuant to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the issuance of regular reports to the Congress on each of its lending programs that relied on its authorities under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act
- the publication of a periodic report on Credit and Liquidity Programs and the Balance Sheet.
- the implementation of new disclosure requirements pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.
The Federal Reserve considers transparency about the goals, conduct, and stance of monetary policy to be fundamental to the effectiveness of monetary policy. The Federal Reserve Act sets forth the goals of monetary policy, specifically "to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates." Financial stability is an important prerequisite for achieving those goals.
Transparency about monetary policy also helps promote the accountability of the Federal Reserve to the Congress and the public. Such accountability is especially critical when nontraditional policy tools--which are less familiar to the public than traditional policy tools--are employed.
This section also serves as a resource for describing the Federal Reserve’s current monetary policy tools, as well as the special programs that the Federal Reserve implemented to address the financial crisis that emerged during the summer of 2007. Greater public understanding of these tools and their use can increase understanding of the measures implemented by the Federal Reserve--and the rest of the federal government--to strengthen financial markets and institutions and encourage a resumption of economic growth.
This section of the site brings together information on the various Federal Reserve liquidity and credit facilities and greater background on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet. The links at the top of this page group this information as follows:
- Crisis response provides information about the Federal Reserve's strategy since the beginning of the financial crisis and contains links to information on many of the special policy tools that were created in response to the crisis.
- Monetary policy normalization discusses some of the challenges the Federal Reserve will likely face in the future in the process of normalizing the stance of monetary policy and the size and composition of its balance sheet.
- Federal Reserve's balance sheet discusses the Board's weekly H.4.1 statistical release, "Factors Affecting Reserve Balances of Depository Institutions and Condition Statement of Federal Reserve Banks," which contains the Federal Reserve's balance sheet and related information.
- Federal Reserve liabilities discusses the key liabilities on the Federal Reserve's balance sheet, including currency and reserve balances.
- Recent balance sheet trends provides a graphical depiction of selected assets and liabilities of the Federal Reserve.
- Open market operations discusses this traditional policy tool, including its evolution during the financial crisis.
- Central bank liquidity swaps discusses the use of reciprocal currency arrangements with other central banks, in response to the global nature of the financial crisis.
- Lending to depository institutions discusses the primary, secondary, and seasonal credit facilities as well as the Term Auction Facility.
- Federal Reserve System financial statements include audited annual financial statements for the individual Reserve Banks, the Board of Governors, and Maiden Lane LLC, as well as unaudited combined quarterly financial reports.
- Other reports and disclosures provides information and links regarding Federal Reserve disclosure requirements, monthly reports, and reports to the Congress.
- Information on closed programs discusses credit and liquidity programs created by the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis that have since been closed.