Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Inside the Fed Monetary Policy Meetings: A Fed President Talks

Tom Heintjes: Hi, and thanks for joining us for this inaugural Economy Matters podcast. I'm Tom Heintjes, managing editor of the Atlanta Fed's Economy Matters magazine. We're starting off this podcast series on a high note, because today we're sitting down with Dennis Lockhart, president and CEO of the Atlanta Fed. Thanks for joining us, Dennis.
Dennis Lockhart: Thank you, Tom.
Heintjes: As a Reserve Bank president, Dennis is a member of the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, which is the group that meets eight times a year to set monetary policy for the nation. The FOMC has a high profile, to say the least, and the actions it takes to set policy are closely watched by many people around the world. Dennis has agreed to sit down with us to give us a fuller idea of how an FOMC meeting is conducted. Dennis, I wanted to briefly begin by going over the composition of the FOMC's membership. It's actually pretty straightforward. The FOMC's membership is composed of the Fed's Board of Governors and the 12 Reserve Bank presidents. The chair of the Fed's Board of Governors, Janet Yellen, is also the chair of the FOMC, and the president of the New York Fed is the FOMC's vice chair. Does that capture it?
Lockhart: That's correct. Currently, we actually have 17 people who participate in the meeting, and of then of course many staff who are in the meeting room itself. There is a technical difference between member and participant. When I am a voter, I am a member of the FOMC. When I am in an off year and I'm not a voter, then I am considered a participant. But for all practical purposes, at least in the discussion in the meeting, everyone is a member.

Read the rest here.


  1. It's like a monetary politburo.

  2. This piece was originally published by the Atlanta Fed at