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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy: A Compendium


The  financial  crisis  and  the  Federal  Reserve’s  unprecedented  response  to  it  has garnered renewed attention from Congress. On the one hand, the Fed was given new regulatory responsibilities in The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111-203) in an attempt to prevent future crises. On the other hand, the Dodd-Frank Act shifted its consumer protection responsibilities to the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, placed restrictions on the Fed’s emergency powers, and increased oversight of the Fed. Fed oversight and disclosure has been a focus of Congress.

In the 111th Congress, the Dodd-Frank Act allowed GAO to audit the Fed’s monetary and lending  activities and required the Fed to release detailed lending records for the first time. In the  112th Congress, H.R. 459, which the House passed as amended on July 25, 2012, would remove  remaining restrictions on GAO’s audit authority. Also in the 112th Congress, H.R. 245 would change  the Fed’s statutory mandate to a single mandate of price stability, H.R. 1512 and H.R. 3428 would remove the regional Fed bank presidents from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), and S. 3219 would alter the selection of regional bank directors so that all nine are chosen by the Fed’s Board  of Governors.

The May 8, 2012 House Committee Financial Services Subcommittee on  Domestic Monetary Policy and  Technology hearing on “Overhauling the Federal Reserve System” provides background on Federal Reserve reform proposals.


Date of Report: September 17, 2012
Number of Pages: 97
Order Number: C-12004
Price: $59.99


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