Federal Reserve

Janet Yellen | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Unraveling the Fed's comments

The central bank's decision to leave interest rates where they are is outlined in a dense statement that can be hard to decipher. Here, in everyday language, is a translation of the Fed's remarks. Read more

Federal funds rate

The interest rate at which banks lend money to one another overnight to meet loan reserve requirements. The federal funds rate is a tool used by the Federal Reserve to control the supply of available money and hence, inflation and other interest rates.

Raising the rate makes it more expensive to borrow. That lowers the supply of available money, which helps keep inflation in check. Lowering the rate has the opposite effect.

How Fed moves affect mortgage rates

Click through the timeline below to see the effect the Fed's moves had on mortgage rates.

Fed History

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The Federal Open Market Committee

The rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee meets at least eight times a year. Its members include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a rotating selection of presidents of the other 11 reserve banks.

Janet Yellen

Board of Governors, Chair

William C. Dudley

Vice Chairman

Charles L. Evans

Chicago

Jeffrey M. Lacker

Richmond, Virginia

Dennis P. Lockhart

Atlanta

John C. Williams

San Francisco

Jerome H. Powell

Board of Governors

Daniel K. Tarullo

Board of Governors

Stanley Fischer

Board of Governors

Lael Brainard

Board of Governors

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