Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)

the most important monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve System, that generally meets eight times a year. It is responsible for formulation of a policy designed to promote economic growth, full employment, stable prices, and a sustainable pattern of international trade and payments. The FOMC makes key decisions regarding the conduct of open market operationsÑpurchases and sales of U.S. government and federal agency securitiesÑwhich affect the provision of reserves to depository institutions and, in turn, the cost and availability of money and credit in the U.S. economy. The FOMC also directs System operations in foreign currencies. The twelve-voting-member committee is made up of the seven members of the Board of Governors; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and, on a rotating basis, the presidents of four other Reserve Banks. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents also participate in Committee deliberations and discussion.