In our last lesson we finalized our discussion on the importance of interest rates and introduced the Federal Reserve. In today’s lesson we’re going to continue our discussion on the Federal Reserve by looking at the parts of the Fed which are relevant to us as traders so we can begin to understand how this one institution is able to create drastic moves in the markets.
The Federal Reserve has many responsibilities which include regulating banking activity, playing a major role in operating the nation’s payments system, and maintaining the stability of the financial system. The role that is most important to us as traders and therefore the role in which we will concentrate on in our lessons, is its role in conducting the nation’s monetary policy.
***As a side note here the Federal Reserve is also the Central Bank of the United States. I say this here because most countries have something which operates in much the same way as the Fed which is many times referred to in other countries as the Central Bank. While these institutions may be structured differently from the Fed, from a broad perspective many of the things you learn in our lessons on monetary policy will apply to any central bank.
While the Fed’s objectives are set by law, its day to day activities are not subject to government approval. This is an important point to understand as it means that unlike Fiscal Policy, which must be approved by both Congress and the President, monetary policy can be enacted as the Fed pleases. This gives the Fed much more control over the economy at least in the short term, and is the reason why some people consider the chairman of the Federal Reserve to be more powerful than even the President.
There are many interesting details about The Fed and its structure that I encourage everyone to explore, however the primary components which move markets, and are therefore the ones that we will focus on, are:
1. The Board of Governors: Located in Washington DC the Board of Governors is at the top of The Fed’s food chain. It is made up of 7 members who are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. To help keep The Fed from being influenced by political factors, 5 of the Fed Governors are appointed to staggered 14 Year terms. The Chairman and the Vice Chairman are appointed to 4 year terms and can be reappointed should the President wish to have them.
2. The Regional Federal Reserve Banks: This is a network which includes the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, and 25 Branches. As most of you already know, different areas of the United States are comprised of different industries. As an example the New York area economy is influenced heavily by what is going on in financial services, while the San Francisco area economy is influenced heavily by what is happening in the technology sector. As this is the case, each of the regional banks are strategically located throughout the country so that the can stay abreast of current economic conditions in each area.
The 12 Regional Banks are Located In:
3. The Federal Open Market Committee: Normally referred to as the FOMC, this part of the system is made up of The Board of Governors and the 12 Presidents of the Regional Reserve Banks. The FOMC is the most important part of the Federal Reserve from a trading standpoint, as this is the entity that is responsible for Monetary Policy.
Under Normal Circumstances the members of the FOMC meet 8 times a year to discuss economic conditions and to vote on what, if any, monetary policy actions should be taken. The voting members of the FOMC are:
The Board of Governors
The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
4 Presidents from the other Regional banks (who vote on a rotating basis)
As we’ve discussed in previous lessons, there is no greater mover of markets than changes in peoples anticipation of interest rates, and as the FOMC has the most control over interest rates, one could say that there is perhaps no greater mover of markets than the FOMC. It is for this reason that markets can go quiet for days in anticipation of an FOMC interest rate announcement or important speech by the Chairman or other voting member, and then explode with volatility shortly after.
So, now that we have an understanding of its structure we can begin to discuss how the Fed goes about enacting monetary policy, what this means for the economy, and therefore how market’s are likely to move in different scenarios.
This discussion will begin in our next lesson so we hope to see you then. As always if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the comments section below so we can all learn to trade together, and good luck with your trading.
Elevate Your Trading With The Amazing Trader!
The Amazing Trader includes:
Actionable trading levels delivered to YOUR charts in real-time.
looking for your first broker or do you need of a new one? There are
more critical things to consider than you might have thought.
We were trading long before there were online brokers. Global-View
has been directly involved with the industry since its infancy. We've
seen everything and are up-to-data with recent regulatory changes.
The Global-View Forex Forum is the hub for currency trading on the web. Founded in 1996, it was the original forex forum and is still the place where forex traders around the globe come 24/7 looking for currency trading ideas, breaking forex news, fx trading rumors, fx flows and more. This is where you can find a full suite of forex trading tools, including a complete fx database, forex chart points, live currency rates, and live fx charts. In addition, there is a forex brokers directory where you can compare forex brokers. There is also a forex brokers hotline where you can ask for help choosing a forex broker that meets your individual fx trading needs. Interact on the same venue to discuss forex trading.
The forex forum is where traders come to discuss the forex market. It is one of the few places where forex traders of all levels of experience, from novice to professionals, interact on the same venue to discuss forex trading. There is also the GVI Forex, which is a private subscription service where professional and experienced currency traders meet in a private forex forum. it is like a virtual forex trading room. This is open to forex traders of all levels of experience to view but only experienced currency tradingprofessionals can post.
Currency trading charts are updated daily using the forex trading ranges posted in the Global-View forex database. You will also find technical indicators on the fx trading charts, e.g. moving averages for currencies such as the EURUSD. This is another forex trading tool provided by Global-View.com.
The forex database can be used to access high, low, close daily forex ranges for key currency pairs, such as the EURUSD, USDJPY, USDCHF, GBPUSD, USDCAD, AUD, NZD and major crosses, including EURJPY, EURGBP, EURCHF, GBPJPY, GBPCHF and CHFJPY. Data for these currency trading pairs dating back to January 1, 1999 can be downloaded to an Excel spreadsheet.
Forex chart points are in a currency trading table that includes; latest fx tradinghigh-low-close range, Bollinger Bands, Fibonacci retracement levels, daily forex pivot points support and resistance levels, average daily forex range, MACD for the different currency trading pairs. You can look on the forex forum for updates when one of the fx trading tools is updated.
Global-View also offers a full fx trading chart gallery that includes fx pairs, such as the EURUSD, commodities, stocks and bonds. In a fx trading world where markets are integrated, the chart gallery is a valuable trading tool. Look for updates on the Forex Forum when the chart gallery is updated.
Global-View.com also offers a forex blog, where articles of interest for currency trading are posted throughout the day. The forex blog articles come from outside sources, including forex brokers research as well as from the professionals at Global-View.com. This forex blog includes the Daily Forex View, Market Chatter and technical forex blog updates. In additional to its real time forex forum, there are also Member Forums available for more in depth forex trading discussions.
WARNING: FOREIGN EXCHANGE TRADING AND INVESTMENT IN DERIVATIVES
CAN BE VERY SPECULATIVE AND MAY RESULT IN LOSSES AS WELL AS PROFITS. FOREIGN
EXCHANGE AND DERIVATIVES TRADING IS NOT SUITABLE FOR MANY MEMBERS OF THE
PUBLIC AND ONLY RISK CAPITAL SHOULD BE APPLIED. THE WEBSITE DOES NOT TAKE
INTO ACCOUNT SPECIAL INVESTMENT GOALS, THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OR SPECIFIC
REQUIREMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL USERS. YOU SHOULD CAREFULLY CONSIDER YOUR FINANCIAL
SITUATION AND CONSULT YOUR FINANCIAL ADVISORS AS TO THE SUITABILITY TO YOUR
SITUATION PRIOR TO MAKING ANY INVESTMENT OR ENTERING INTO ANY TRANSACTIONS.