What is the ‘Federal Discount Rate’
The federal discount rate is the interest rate set by the Federal Reserve on loans offered to eligible commercial banks or other depository institutions as a measure to reduce liquidity problems and the pressures of reserve requirements. The discount rate allows the federal reserve to control the supply of money and is used to assure stability in the financial markets. Next Up Discount Window Reserve Ratio Reserve Requirements Adjustment Credit
Explaining ‘Federal Discount Rate’
Depository institutions and commercials banks that are in generally sound financial condition are eligible to borrow from their regional Federal Reserve banks at a primary credit, or discount, rate. These loans are normally extended on an overnight basis for the purpose of banks meeting short-term liquidity needs. Funds for commercial banks borrowed from the Fed to improve their money supply are processed through the discount window, and the rate is reviewed every 14 days. The federal discount rate is one of the most important indicators in the economy, as all other interest rates move up and down with it.
Federal Reserve Monetary Tools
The federal discount rate is used as a tool to either stimulate (expansionary monetary policy) or rein in (contractionary monetary policy) the economy. A decrease in the discount rate makes it cheaper for commercial banks to borrow money, which results in an increase in available credit and lending activity throughout the economy. Conversely, a raised discount rate makes it more expensive for banks to borrow and thereby diminishes the money supply while retracting investment activity.
- Discount rate changes and security returns in the US, 1962–1991 – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
- Discount rate changes and the foreign exchange market – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
- Federal discount rate policy, the shadow price of capital, and challenges for reforms – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]
- Modelling federal reserve discount policy – link.springer.com [PDF]
- Discount rate for long-term Forest Service investments – academic.oup.com [PDF]
- Stock prices and economic news – www.nber.org [PDF]
- A primer on the major issues relating to the discount rate for evaluating national energy options – books.google.com [PDF]
- Why do T-bill rates react to discount rate changes? – www.jstor.org [PDF]
- Discount rate changes, stock market returns, volatility, and trading volume: Evidence from intraday data and implications for market efficiency – www.sciencedirect.com [PDF]