Transcripts of the monetary policymaking body of the Federal Reserve from 2002–2008.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman—I appreciate this. I have a three-part question. As you said in your presentation, the effective funds rate (the average of brokered transactions) has been below the interest rate on reserves, and there are all of these institutions that apparently aren’t eligible to earn interest on reserves. One, what’s the policy reason for excluding them from eligibility for interest on reserves? I understand the policy reason for excluding them from credit, but this is the opposite, and so I’m not quite sure why we screen them out. Second, as I read the data on your operations, it seems to me as though we have added enough reserves to drive the funds rate virtually down to the interest rate on reserves. I want to know if that’s a fair characterization of the state of open market operations and the funds rate. Third, I’m interested in knowing, especially if that’s true, why don’t we just give up and say that the interest rate on reserves is our target rate?

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