For an overview of the Federal Reserve System and its functions, see:

The Federal Reserve System: Purposes and Functions, 9th ed. 2005. Washington, DC: Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System.

What is the Fed? Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

For further discussion on several of the topics in this booklet, see the following issues of the FRBSF Economic Letter:

Overview of Monetary Policy

94-27 “A Primer on Monetary Policy, Part I: Goals and Instruments,” by Carl Walsh. (PDF – 115KB)

Goals of Monetary Policy

2003-34 “Should the Fed React to the Stock Market?” by Kevin Lansing.

2001-03 “Inflation: The 2% Solution,” by Milton Marquis.

2000-24 “Should Central Banks Stabilize Prices?” By Carl Walsh.

99-04 “The Goals of U.S. Monetary Policy,” by John Judd and Glenn Rudebusch.

98-18 “U.S. Inflation Targeting: Pro and Con,” by Glenn Rudebusch and Carl Walsh.

98-17 “Central Bank Inflation Targeting,” by Glenn Rudebusch and Carl Walsh.

98-04 “The New Output-Inflation Trade-off,” by Carl Walsh.

97-27 “What Is the Optimal Rate of Inflation?” by Timothy Cogley.

97-01 “Nobel Views on Inflation and Unemployment,” by Carl Walsh.

95-16 “Central Bank Independence and Inflation,” by Robert T. Parry. (PDF – 110KB)

94-25 “Should the Central Bank Be Responsible for Regional Stabilization?”by Timothy Cogley and Desiree Schaan. (PDF – 132KB)

94-05 “Is There a Cost to Having an Independent Central Bank?” by Carl Walsh. (PDF – 129KB)

93-44 “Inflation and Growth,” by Brian Motley. (PDF – 135KB)

93-21 “Federal Reserve Independence and the Accord of 1951,” by Carl Walsh. (PDF – 132KB)

Monetary Policy Tools and the Transmission Mechanism

2002-30 “Setting the Interest Rate,” by Milton Marquis.

97-18 “Interest Rates and Monetary Policy,” by Glenn Rudebusch.

95-23 “Federal Reserve Policy and the Predictability of Interest Rates,” by Glenn Rudebusch.

95-05 “What Are the Lags in Monetary Policy?” by Glenn Rudebusch. (PDF – 129KB)

The Conduct of Monetary Policy

2004-05 “Precautionary Policies” by Carl Walsh

2003-32 “The Natural Rate of Interest” by John Williams.

2003-15 “What Makes the Yield Curve Move?” by Tao Wu.

2003-14 “Minding the Speed Limit” by Carl Walsh.

2001-26 “Transparency in Monetary Policy” by Carl Walsh.

2001-13 “The Science (and Art) of Monetary Policy” by Carl Walsh

2001-05 “How Sluggish Is the Fed?” by Glenn Rudebusch.

2000-31 “Monetary Policy in a New Environment: The U.S. Experience” by Robert T. Parry.

2000-21 “Exploring the Causes of the Great Inflation,” by Kevin Lansing.

99-33 “Risks in the Economic Outlook” by Robert T. Parry.

99-21 “Supply Shocks and the Conduct of Monetary Policy,” by Bharat Trehan.

98-38 “Describing Fed Behavior,” by John Judd and Glenn Rudebusch.

98-28 “The Natural Rate, NAIRU, and Monetary Policy,” by Carl Walsh.

97-35 “NAIRU: Is It Useful for Monetary Policy?” by John Judd.

97-29 “A New Paradigm?” by Bharat Trehan.

94-13 “Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Regime,” by Timothy Cogley. (PDF – 136KB)

93-42 “Monetary Policy and Long-Term Real Interest Rates,” by Timothy Cogley. (PDF – 136KB)

93-38 “Real Interest Rates,” by Bharat Trehan. (PDF – 129KB)

93-01 “An Alternative Strategy for Monetary Policy,” by Brian Motley and John Judd. (PDF – 129KB)