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U.S. Federal monetary policy

1) What does U.S. Federal monetary policy attempt to solve and how, i.e., what three tools does the Federal Reserve use to affect these changes?

2) What is the stated direction of recent monetary policy? What recent actions have the Federal Reserve taken to confirm that direction?

3) Who is Ben Bernanke? What is his role in the Federal Reserve? What are his prerequisites for this position? How would he be compared and contrasted to his predecessor?

4) Are monetary policy actions or fiscal policy actions bettered suited to correct the problems they attempt to solve? And why?

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I need help answering the following questions
1) What does U.S. Federal monetary policy attempt to solve and how, i.e., what three tools does the Federal Reserve use to affect these changes?

About Federal Reserve Board
The Federal Reserve System is a quasi-governmental banking system. Its composition is as follows:
(1) Presidentially-appointed Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.
(2) The Federal Open Market Committee;
(3) 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation; and (4) numerous private member banks, which own varying amounts of stock in the regional
Federal Reserve Banks.

(Wikipedia)
The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy--open market operations, the discount rate, and reserve requirements. The term "monetary policy" refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals.
The three ways in which the Federal Reserve can change the money supply are
? Change in Fund Rate
? Open Market operations like buying and purchasing of government securities
? Change in Variable reserve ratio

2) What is the stated direction of recent monetary policy? What recent actions have the Federal Reserve taken to confirm that direction?
The earlier policy was of contractionary policy as the fed fund rate has been increased from low of 1% in June 2003 to the current 5.25%.
But since September 2007 there is a change in trend and not the rate has touched the low of 1% to tackle the recession. Hence currently Fed is pursuing expansionary policy.
http://www.federalreserve.gov/fomc/fundsrate.htm
A recession is a situation of falling National income or the aggregate demand consistently in the preceding years. It also leads to the loss of business confidence. Depression is any economic downturn where real GDP declines by more than 10 percent. A recession is an economic downturn that is less severe. (economics. About.com)
Recession is a significant decline in activity spread across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, employment, real income and wholesale-retail trade. The technical indicator of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth as measured by a country's gross domestic product (GDP).
(www.investopedia.com)

If the Federal Reserve is going to adjust all of these tools during an during an economic recession, the changes they would make will be to increase credit and to increase the money supply ...

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This discusses the U.S. Federal monetary policy

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