Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Honors Designation


Program of Study




First Advisor

Sebastiano Manzan


The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the principal maker of monetary policy in the United States. The main instrument of monetary policy is the target federal funds rate, which is de facto the base interest rate of the US economy. The FOMC meets around eight times a year to discuss the economic outlook and decide on this metric. Throughout most of its history, the Fed has been opaque about how it decides on monetary policy, but in recent years it has adopted a more transparent disclosure policy. For each FOMC meeting, it currently releases a brief statement immediately after the meeting ends summarizing the economic outlook and target federal funds rate it will be implementing. Three weeks later, it releases the full minutes of the meeting. This paper investigates if and how the release of the statement and the release of the minutes impacts market volatility in the US equities market and the market for the federal funds rate in the sample 2007-2014, encompassing the interesting time period of the recent financial crisis, recession, and recovery years.


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