12 February 2013
Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve
Current Policy and Conditions
This report provides an overview of monetary policy and issues for Congress. Congress has delegated responsibility for monetary policy to the Federal Reserve (Fed), but retains oversight responsibilities to ensure that the Fed is adhering to its statutory mandate of "maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates." The Fed’s responsibilities as the nation’s central bank fall into four main categories: monetary policy, ensuring financial stability through the lender of last resort function, supervision of bank holding companies, and providing payment system services to financial firms and the government. The report will discuss the first two areas of responsibility.