Monetary Policy vs. Fiscal Policy.

Topics: Monetary policy, Federal Reserve System, Central bank Pages: 6 (1985 words) Published: November 2, 2003
Monetary Policy vs. Fiscal Policy

People always struggled with an idea of prosperity and success, whether it was a personal goal or whether it was something major - like wealth of a country. Nowadays, we are studying a science, which is really significant and valuable - Economics. Economics is a tool for achieving those goals, knowledge that people can use and imply in real life, and at the present time probably undividable part of governments' performances around the world. For us, students, there are two different matters we study - Macroeconomics, the study of the performance of national economies and Microeconomics, which focuses on the behavior of individual households, firms, and markets.

During the fall quarter of 2001, I was exposed to the basic ideas and uses of the Macroeconomics. Macroeconomics policies - government actions to improve the performance of the economy - are of particular concern to macroeconomists, as the quality of macroeconomic policymaking as a major determinant of a nation's economic health. Monetary and Fiscal policies are two policies that we were concentrated on, and were the most significant part of the course for me. There is too much involved in these policies and they interact with each other consistently. I decided to write this paper, summarizing the basic functions of two policies, tried to explain what it is that makes them work, how effective these two policies can be, and how one relates to another.

In looking at the effectiveness of Monetary and Fiscal policies, it must be understood how the two relate to each other within the government structure. The Federal Open Market Committee - FOMC - is the most important monetary policy-making body of the Federal Reserve System. It is responsible for the formulation of a policy designed to promote economic growth, full employment, stable prices, and a sustainable pattern of international trade and payments. The seven Board members constitute a majority of the 12-member Federal Open Market Committee, the group that makes the key decisions affecting the cost and availability of money and credit in the economy. The other five members of the FOMC are Reserve Bank presidents, one of who is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Board sets reserve requirements and shares the responsibility with the Reserve Banks for discount rate policy. The FOMC is the policy arm of the Fed and the tasks of the Federal Reserve are to supervise banks, fixing maximum rates of interests.

The U.S Treasury, though it aids in much of the monetary management, represents the fiscal sector, which is the U.S Congress. Fiscal policy covers, such areas as taxation and other revenue gathering and spending measures. Fiscal policies are those actions that are enacted by the Legislative Branch of the U.S government, the Congress. Their fiscal policies are enacted through the U.S Treasury. Therefore, the Treasury is the arm of fiscal policy and the Federal Reserve is the arm of monetary policy. For example, even if Congress has allocated some amount of money to take over failing banks and savings and loans, and it is not enough, than the Fed can pump capital into the system by buying bank stocks. So, this is example of how the Fed interacts and influences the ups and downs of the economy.

In looking at the relationship between the Fed and The Treasury, essentially, the Fed was set up to provide the U.S Treasury with a more satisfactory fiscal agent. In acting as the fiscal agent for the U.S Treasury, or more specifically, as the primary banker for the federal government, the Fed acts as Financial advisor, depository and receiving agent, agent for issuing and retiring treasury securities, agent for other transactions involving purchases and sales of securities for Treasury account, agent for the government in purchasing and gold and foreign exchange, and lender to the Treasury.

The Treasury influences monetary and credit conditions as well,...
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