FOMC Definition – What is behind the abbreviation?

What is the FOMC? – Definition, history and explanation

The FOMC is an important term in the financial world, as it is responsible for important monetary policy actions. It has to do with the most important meetings that can be found in the economic calendar, which is why every stockbroker and also other investors or people interested in the financial sector should know exactly what the four letters stand for and what is behind them. Below you will find a definition of the FOMC and an explanation around its meaning.

Definition: What is the FOMC?

The abbreviation FOMC stands for the Federal Open Market Committee. This is a Committee of the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank (Fed). It consists of twelve members, who have equal voting rights. Seven of them belong to the central bank (the Fed’s Board of Governors), five members are appointed by the 12 governors of the central bank.

The voting members of the FOMC meet eight times a year – very important dates around the U.S. financial world. This is because important decisions around U.S. monetary policy are made at the meetings. One of the most important items on the FOMC agenda at each of the eight meetings is the setting of the key interest rate. Changes in this rate have a major impact on the stock market – worldwide. The FOMC also provides an outlook on the future development of the Interest rate. This is also important information for all stock market participants. In addition, the committee decides on the purchase of government bonds and investments of the FED in international currency markets.

History and importance of the FOMC

The FOMC was established in 1933 by the Banking Act. Since then, it has represented the principal body of domestic monetary policy in the United States. From an international perspective, the committee is particularly important with respect to the dollar. The exchange rate of the dollar is influenced by the determinations of the FOMC. Before each meeting, stock market players around the world give a lot of thought to what determinations will be made. After the announcement, there is usually much more activity in the investment markets.

Because the FOMC plays a major role in U.S. monetary policy, it is subject to strict rules and regulations that have been set and adjusted over the years.


How do the FOMC’s decisions come about?

FOMC staff must prepare written reports on economic and financial developments before each regular meeting. This applies to past and prospective developments. The reports are given to members of the Committee and also sent to governors. In addition Reports on operations in the domestic market and in foreign currency are distributed. At the meeting itself, members and staff then report on current conditions in the Financial markets and international developments in the financial world.

The deliberations then take into account an enormous number of factors, all of which have an influence in the decision-making process. These include general wage and price developments, production and employment in the states, developments in housing and commercial construction, business investment, business inventories, consumer incomes. Interest rates, foreign exchange markets, and monetary aggregates. What is new is that account transactions also have an impact.

It is considered normal for members to change their minds on certain points after the meeting, as a lot of information is added. At the end of the meeting, an explicit recommendation is made to policymakers.

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