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When did the FOMC begin targeting the federal funds rate? what the verbatim transcripts tell us

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  • Daniel L. Thornton

Abstract

In October 1982 the FOMC deemphasized M1 and moved to what is commonly referred to as a borrowed reserves operating procedure. Sometime thereafter the FOMC switched to a funds rate targeting procedure but never formally announced the change. Given the close correspondence between a borrowed reserves operating procedure and a funds rate targeting procedure, Thornton (1988) suggested that the FOMC went immediately to a funds rate targeting procedure. Others date the switch to the funds rate procedure later. Meulendyke (1998) suggests the switch came in late 1987, while others suggest the change occurred later. This paper reviews the verbatim transcripts of the FOMC meetings to establish the timing of the switch. The verbatim transcripts suggest that the FOMC effectively switched to a funds rate targeting procedure in 1982. The documentary evidence is supported by an analysis of the spread between the funds rate and the funds rate target, which suggests that the differences in the behavior of the spread before October 1979 and after October 1982 are relatively small and economically unimportant.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel L. Thornton, 2005. "When did the FOMC begin targeting the federal funds rate? what the verbatim transcripts tell us," Working Papers 2004-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2004-015
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James D. Hamilton & Oscar Jorda, 2002. "A Model of the Federal Funds Rate Target," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1135-1167, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel L. Thornton, 2006. "The daily liquidity effect," Working Papers 2006-020, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    2. Daniel L. Thornton, 2014. "The identification of the response of interest rates to monetary policy actions using market-based measures of monetary policy shocks," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(1), pages 67-87, January.
    3. Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 202-213.
    4. Lucchetti, Riccardo & Palomba, Giulio, 2009. "Nonlinear adjustment in US bond yields: An empirical model with conditional heteroskedasticity," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 659-667, May.
    5. Nautz, Dieter & Scheithauer, Jan, 2011. "Monetary policy implementation and overnight rate persistence," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(7), pages 1375-1386.
    6. Vladimir Kotomin & Drew Winters, 2006. "Quarter-End Effects in Banks: Preferred Habitat or Window Dressing?," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 29(1), pages 61-82, February.
    7. Richard G. Anderson & Kevin L. Kliesen, 2011. "How does the FOMC learn about economic revolutions? evidence from the New Economy Era, 1994-2001," Working Papers 2011-041, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    8. Ellen E. Meade & Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "The Phillips curve and US monetary policy: what the FOMC transcripts tell us," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 197-216, April.
    9. Thornton, Daniel L., 2005. "Tests of the expectations hypothesis: Resolving the anomalies when the short-term rate is the federal funds rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 2541-2556, October.
    10. Kobayashi, Teruyoshi, 2009. "Announcements and the effectiveness of monetary policy: A view from the US prime rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(12), pages 2253-2266, December.
    11. Nautz, Dieter & Schmidt, Sandra, 2009. "Monetary policy implementation and the federal funds rate," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1274-1284, July.
    12. Nautz, Dieter & Offermanns, Christian J., 2008. "Volatility transmission in the European money market," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 23-39, March.
    13. Ellen E. Meade, 2005. "The FOMC: preferences, voting, and consensus," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 93-101.
    14. Christopher J. Neely & S. Rubun Dey, 2010. "A survey of announcement effects on foreign exchange returns," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 417-464.

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    Keywords

    Federal Open Market Committee ; Federal funds market (United States) ; Federal funds rate ; Monetary policy;

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