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A meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee was held
in the offices of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System in Washington, D. C., on Monday and Tuesday, January 20-21,
1975, beginning at 4:00 p.m. on Monday.


Burns, Chairman
Sheehan 1/
Debs, Alternate for Mr. Hayes

Messrs. Baughman, MacLaury,2/ Mayo,2 / and Morris,
Alternate Members of the Federal Open Market
Messrs. Eastburn, Francis, and Balles, Presidents
of the Federal Reserve Banks of Philadelphia,
St. Louis, and San Francisco, respectively
Mr. Broida, Secretary
Mr. O'Connell, General Counsel

Burns said he wanted to inform the Reserve Bank

Presidents that the Board earlier today had acted to reduce member
bank reserve requirements on demand deposits, by one-half of 1
percentage point on deposits up to $400 million and by 1 percentage

Attended Tuesday session only.
Entered meeting at point indicated.


point on deposits of more than $400 million.

The action would

apply to deposits during the week ending February 5 and would
affect required reserves during the week ending February 19.


was expected to release about $1.1 billion of reserves to the
banking system.
The Chairman then said he would comment briefly on the
outlook for the Federal budget.

As noted in one of the staff

documents distributed to the Committee, according

to the Adminis

tration's preliminary budget estimates, the deficit in the 1976
fiscal year would be $46 billion.

Developments since those estimates

were prepared suggested that the figure should be raised somewhat,
to the neighborhood of $50 billion.
However, Chairman Burns continued, the 1976 budget estimates
were premised on the assumption that the Congress would accept a
number of Presidential recommendations for reductions in expendi
tures, including a list of budget deferrals and rescissions, new
legislation placing a 5 per cent limit in 1975 on increases in
Federal employee salaries, civil service and military retirement
pay, and social security payments, and certain other reductions
for which legislative action was required.

Altogether, the recom

mended spending cuts came to $17-1/2 billion.
To the extent that Congress did not accept those recommenda
tions, the Chairman continued, the estimate of the deficit would



have to be raised.

While it was impossible to forecast the outcome

with assurance, some who professed to understand Congressional
attitudes were now guessing that the spending cuts actually approved
would total at most $5 billion.

Personally, he would conjecture that

Congress would concur in only about $2 or $3 billion of the reduc
tions recommended, but would also reduce the military budget by
$3 to $5 billion.

If that conjecture was reasonably accurate, the

total reduction would be roughly $10 billion rather than $17-1/2
billion, and the correct estimate of the deficit in fiscal 1976
would be closer to $60 billion than to $50 billion.
In response to a question by Mr. Winn, Chairman Burns said
he thought the estimate of the deficit in fiscal 1975, which was
now $34 billion, would almost certainly be raised somewhat, but by
much less than that for 1976--perhaps to $35 or $36 billion.
Mr. Eastburn asked whether the Chairman thought it was
likely that new spending programs would be enacted this year.
Chairman Burns replied that the President himself was recom
mending no new spending programs outside the energy sphere.

It was

quite likely, however, that Congress would enact new programs.
In reply to a question by Mr. Kimbrel, the Chairman said
he thought Congressional sentiment for direct controls had abated
now that evidence of a definite lessening in the rate of inflation


was beginning to accumulate.

If the rate of inflation should

step up again, however, there undoubtedly would be a strong
clamor for controls.
In response to other questions, Chairman Burns said it
was his guess that Congress would move speedily on the President's
recommendation for a $16.5 billion cut in individual income taxes,
and would probably make the cut a little larger.

The President's

proposal fora one-year increase in the investment tax credit
probably would be enacted, although perhaps with some modifica

On the other hand, he doubted that the energy program

and associated tax changes would be enacted in a form anywhere
near that recommended.

And he thought action probably would be

taken to rescind the President's existing authority to raise the
tariff on crude oil imports.
Mr. Eastburn referred to the Chairman's opening comments
about today's reduction in reserve requirements and asked about the
reasons for lowering requirements more on demand deposits over $400
million than on deposits below that amount,
In reply, the Chairman noted that reserve requirements for
large banks had been stepped up sharply in recent years, and the
desirability of a correction--which, of course, could best be made

at a time when there was a need to reduce over-all requirementsfigured in the Board's thinking.

Another consideration that some

Board members, at least, had had in mind was the increasing extent
to which large banks were currently serving as lenders of last
resort; they were now carrying a heavy burden in that regard.
Chairman Burns added that the reserve requirement action
was unlikely to be a popular one.

Indeed, there was little that

the Federal Reserve could do from this point on that would be
popular; whatever actions the System took would be considered wrong
by a large segment of the public and the Congress.
simply had to do its duty as it

The System

saw it.

After some further discussion of the reserve requirement
action, the following staff members entered the meeting:
Mr. Altmann, Deputy Secretary
Mr. Bernard, Assistant Secretary
Mr. Partee, Senior Economist
Mr. Solomon, Economist (International Finance)
Mr. Axilrod, Economist (Domestic Finance)
Messrs. Brandt, Bryant, Davis, Doll, Hocter,
Parthemos, Pierce, and Reynolds, Associate
Mr. Holmes, Manager, System Open Market Account
Mr. Coyne, Assistant to the Board of Governors
Mr. Keir, Adviser, Division of Research
and Statistics, Board of Governors
Mrs. Farar, Economist, Division of Research
and Statistics, Board of Governors
Mrs. Ferrell, Open Market Secretariat Assistant,
Board of Governors


Messrs. Eisenmenger, Scheld,1/ and Jordan,
Senior Vice Presidents, Federal Reserve
Banks of Boston, Chicago, and St. Louis,
Mr. Meek, Monetary Adviser, Federal Reserve
Bank of New York
Messrs. Pardee, Kaminow, and Green, Vice
Presidents, Federal Reserve Banks of
New York, Philadelphia, and Dallas,
Mr. Kareken,1/ Economic Adviser, Federal
Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Mr. Keran, Director of Research, Federal
Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Chairman Burns observed that the Committee had planned to
discuss the first-stage report of the Subcommittee on the Directive
this afternoon.
this point

He thought it would be best, however, to turn at

to a discussion of the economic situation and outlook.

The Committee could consider the Subcommittee's report at the end
of tomorrow's session, if time permitted; otherwise, that subject
would be held over until a later meeting.
The Chairman then called for the staff report on the domestic
economic and financial situation, supplementing the written reports
that had been distributed prior to the meeting.

Copies of the written

reports have been placed in the files of the Committee.
Mr. Partee made the following statement:
With the economy in the midst of a strong reces
sionary movement, virtually all of the business indexes
are now highly unfavorable. The November and December
declines in industrial production are among the sharpest

Entered meeting at point indicated.


of the postwar period, as is the fourth-quarter
reduction in real GNP, estimated by the Commerce
Department to have been at a 9 per cent annual rate.
Nonfarm payroll employment dropped by more than 1
million during the last 2 months of 1974, and the
unemployment rate soared to 7.1 per cent, with a
further sizable rise highly probable for January.
Final sales have fallen off notably in recent months,
with retail sales down significantly further, resi
dential construction sharply lower, and even busi
ness capital spending showing substantial signs of
Every indication, moreover, points to a con
tinued downtrend in the economy over the months
immediately ahead. All segments of the private
economy are likely to be weakening further, as con
sumer income and spending propensities are affected
by widespread unemployment, businesses respond to
the marked deterioration in their markets and in
internal cash flows, and residential construction
remains depressed because of the further decline we
have had in housing starts and the still heavy over
hang of completed but unsold units. Probably the
most important source of weakness, at least arith
metically, will be a sharp drop-off in inventory
investment, from substantial accumulation in the
fourth quarter to probable liquidation by spring.
Virtually all industries are now working hard to
reduce their inventory positions--whether of finished
goods or materials--and they will be increasingly
successful as time goes on.
Even now, however, the basis for economic recovery
is being laid. Savings inflows to the thrift institu
tions have improved considerably, and the tightness
in credit markets is easing. Thus, mortgage credit
is once again becoming available and the capital
markets are successfully absorbing a very large
volume of corporate financing. Housing starts and,
in time, business receptivity to new expansion plans
should respond accordingly. The inventory correc
tion also is, by its nature, likely to be self
limiting. A period of substantial disinvestment
is no doubt ahead, but as the inventory liquidation

comes to an end and is reversed, this will help to
buttress economic activity. Finally, it is evident
that price quotations are being trimmed now in
response to the weakness in markets. Special pro
motions in order to move merchandise should help
to stimulate spending, even though strong underlying
inflationary pressures in the economy persist.
This is the kind of reasoning that has led us
for some time to the view that an economic recovery
is likely to commence in the second half of 1975.
The President's new fiscal proposals, if enacted,
serve to increase that probability considerably.
Leaving aside the energy conservation program, both
the personal tax refund and the increase in the
investment tax credit are likely to have a stimu
lative impact beginning in late spring or summer.
Much of the tax refund, because it is a one-timeor perhaps I should say two-part--windfall, is likely
to be saved, but with family budgets under great
pressure we believe that perhaps one-half will show
up in the spending stream. And the tax credit,
because it is temporary, should significantly
increase near-term capital spending commitments,
even in the face of currently slack demands.
Increased Federal spending will also be adding
to demands over this and the next fiscal year,
apparently by a good deal more than we have allowed
for in the green book 1/projection.
We did not incorporate the energy package into
the projection, partly because the details were slow
to become available and partly because of our uncer
tainty as to its disposition by the Congress. It
is evident, however, that the program would have
large effects on prices, income distribution, and
sectoral relationships among major industries. A
preliminary, and very rough, attempt to analyze the
program's impact through the use of our econometric
model suggests that it would raise the level of con
sumer prices on the order of 3 per cent by mid-1976,
and would very likely stimulate a round of additional

1/ The report, "Current Economic and Financial Conditions,"
prepared for the Committee by the Board's staff.



wage rate pressures on the structure of costs and
prices. The increased extent to which current
expenditures would need to accommodate higher
prices, in turn, would tend to depress real
economic activity and employment unless offset
by increased monetary expansion. Even on the
assumption of fiscal neutrality, therefore, the
program taken by itself would be expected to worsen
the economic outlook.
Because of the incorporation of other aspects
of the President's program, our projected upturn
in the economy after midyear is stronger than before,
albeit from a lower level of activity than we had
anticipated a month ago. We would expect consump
tion to be strengthened materially, though probably
temporarily, in the second half of the year, and
business capital spending to rise by early 1976 to
a level about 5 per cent higher than otherwise would
be expected. The result is a projected rate of
growth in real GNP averaging nearly 4-1/2 per cent
in the three quarters from mid-1975 through early
1976--2 percentage points more than we were antici
pating a month ago. Given this real growth, the
unemployment rate, which is now expected to reach
8 per cent by midyear, would subsequently level off
and perhaps even edge downward. Moreover, as I
noted, our projection appears to have underestimated
Federal expenditures for the remainder of fiscal 1975
and for fiscal 1976--the latter by as much as $10
billion--which should have the effect of improving
demand and reducing the unemployment rate marginally
The effect of substantial fiscal stimulus may
be to reduce somewhat the progress that can be expected
in moderating the rate of inflation. But the impact
of the program on prices--aside from the energy pack
age--is unlikely to be appreciable in the current
environment of widespread softness in markets and sub
stantial slack in resource utilization. Indeed, we
have reduced somewhat the projected rate of inflation
over the next several quarters, reflecting mainly
the greater weakness in prices now expected in con
sumer durable and nondurable goods markets as special



efforts are made to clear such goods out of inventory.
So far, however, there does not seem to be much basis
for expecting a parallel softening in wage rate
advances, which we were already anticipating would
moderate during 1975 and into 1976. Therefore, with
unit labor costs projected to be increasing at a
fairly rapid rate, we think that the scope for any
lasting additional downward adjustment in pricing
policies is quite limited.
In our view, moreover, there still remains a
serious danger of a premature slowing in the recovery
by early 1976 that will leave unemployment and other
measures of resource slack at unacceptably high levels.
In part this reflects the wearing off of the stimulus
provided by the personal tax refund and temporary tax
credit, although it is probable that these tax measures
would be continued, or other fiscal actions substituted,
if the economy remains quite weak.
Even more important, however, is the interaction
of continued inflation and renewed economic growth on
financial market conditions. In the three quarters
from mid-1975
through early 1976, our projected rise
in nominal GNP averages 11 per cent at an annual rate.
The counterpart financing needs to sustain this rate
of increase in nominal expenditures imply that interest
rates will be rising and credit conditions tightening,
beginning as early as this summer, assuming a continua
tion of the Committee's present monetary growth targets.
Rising interest rates, in turn, are likely to mean a
slowing in savings inflows to depository institutions,
with unfavorable implications for mortgages and hous
ing, and the adoption of more conservative financing
and spending programs by business corporations and
State and local governments. Accordingly, there is
danger that housing starts will turn down again in 1976,
that capital spending plans will be trimmed back, and
that the economic recovery will slow well before
resource use reaches adequate levels.
To test this possibility, we have reestimated
our flow of funds accounts to accord with the revised
economic projection as presented in the green book.
The new flow of funds projections indicate that total
credit demands will remain at a reduced level in the



first half of this year, despite the larger Federal
deficit, but that the total of funds raised will
recover in the second half of 1975 to about the
advanced rate of the first half of 1974 and then
rise somewhat further in the first half of 1976.
This volume of financing would be expected to
require substantial direct purchases of securities
by households, the stimulation of which in the past
has required rising interest rates. Thus, both a
comparison of projected nominal GNP expansion with
targeted monetary growth and our analysis of likely
credit demands and sources of financing suggest that
interest rates will be on the rise by late summer,
if not earlier.
My attempt today to focus on the probable shape
of the economic recovery may be regarded by Committee
members as borrowing trouble from the future. As of
now, our problem is one of deepening recession, with
the economy moving downward faster and farther than
almost anyone would have forecast just a few months
ago. If the decline persists, or if the inflation
rate slackens significantly more than we are project
ing, there probably will not be supply difficulties
in credit markets later this year. But our view is
that the President's fiscal program, by stimulating
public spending and increasing credit market demands,
raises considerably the prospects for recovery to begin
by summer or early fall. If so, the Committee will
soon be facing the question of whether it is prepared
to see an early and sizable upturn in interest rates,
or whether it will instead accept somewhat more rapid
monetary expansion and thereby appear to be validating
a part of the underlying pressures working for infla
tion. Since monetary and financial developments
generate their economic impacts only after a consid
erable lag, the strategy that the Committee decides
to follow as 1975 progresses will importantly shape
the behavior of the expected economic recovery, not
only in late 1975 but well on into 1976.
Messrs. Mayo and Scheld entered the meeting during Mr. Partee's



Mr. Winn observed that bank managers finally had recognized
the need to rebuild liquidity and, consequently, he was concerned
that they would be reluctant to expand loans even in an environment
of greater availability of reserves.

Also, delinquencies on auto

loans had been increasing, and consumers, burdened with

heavy debt repayments, might well use tax refunds much more to
improve their financial positions than to increase their expendi

In those circumstances, the course of economic activity

would differ considerably from that portrayed by the staff projection.
Mr. Partee commented that bank managers appeared to be more
concerned about the risks confronting them than at any earlier time
in the postwar period, and finance companies in general also would
be influenced by the dangers inherent in the present economic situa

Moreover, business firms would take steps to improve their


To overcome the effects of such attitudes, policies would

need to be more expansive than otherwise.

With respect to the banks,

the demand for excess reserves had increased substantially over the
past 6 to 8 weeks.

As the availability of reserves increased, how

ever, banks were bound to become more active in making loans and invest

And at some point, businesses would have improved their liquidity

to an extent that they would become willing to undertake new spending



Mr. Balles, noting that the decline in real GNP in the
fourth quarter of 1974 had been much greater than generally expected,
said forces might be at work that would continue economic activity
on a steep decline throughout the first half of this year.

He was

particularly concerned about the influence of consumer and business
confidence, as well as about the developments that Mr. Winn had men

With respect to the projection, he asked whether the staff

rated the risks of error greater in one direction than the other.
In response, Mr. Partee observed that, as he had said before,
a serious financial disturbance could occur, and if it did, economic
activity in the months ahead would be considerably weaker than pro

That possibility aside, greater weakness in the first two

quarters of this year, if it developed, would most likely result from
larger-than-projected declines in real expenditures for business fixed
investment and more severe liquidation of inventories.

On the other

hand, housing starts--which had declined further in December, contrary
to staff expectations--might now be at or near their low, and consumer
confidence, already so weak, seemed to him more likely to recover some
what than to deteriorate further.

In any case, as he had observed in

his statement, the prospects for recovery beginning by summer or early
fall would improve considerably if the President's fiscal proposals

were enacted.



Mr. Coldwell remarked that the projected upturn in activity
in the second half of this year appeared to be based primarily on
a turnaround in residential construction and a shift in business
inventory investment.

With respect to the projected behavior of

inventories, he asked whether there were precedents in earlier
business fluctuations.
Mr. Partee replied that there were such precedents.


significant point to remember about the behavior of inventories
was that even a slowing in the rate of liquidation had an expansive
effect on total GNP.

For example, the annual rate of liquidation

was projected to fall from $9 billion in the second quarter of this
year to $7 billion in the third quarter, and that contributed $2
billion to the annual rate of increase in total GNP.

Moreover, there

was a dynamic element to the inventory investment process that was
not quite reflected in the figures.

In the current quarter, the

automobile industry and some others would be reducing inventories,
but over all, accumulation at a $1.5 billion rate was projected
because of unintended or involuntary increases in other industries.
During the second quarter, production adjustments were expected to
shift inventory investment to a substantial rate of liquidation.
Liquidation was projected to continue at only a slightly lower rate
in the third quarter, but by then some part of the liquidation would



be unintended; that is, stocks would be drawn down by the upsurge in
consumer spending that was expected to be spurred by the tax refund.
With inventories in some industries then lower than desired and with
sales improving, new orders and production would be on the rise.


an environment of ready availability of labor, materials, and plant
capacity, the expansion in production could be rather sharp by late
summer or early fall.
Mr. Bucher asked how confident the staff felt about the
projected upturn in residential construction, particularly in view
of the inventory of unsold houses.
In response, Mr. Partee noted that in November the inventory
represented nearly an 11-1/2-months' supply at the current depressed
rate of sales.

The statistics on the number of unsold houses had

not been available for enough years to judge whether the stock was
large by historical standards, but it would not

appear to be nearly

so large once sales began to revive from the very low rate of recent

In any case, the staff deliberately had restrained the pro

jected recovery in home-building not only because the overhang of
unsold houses was substantial but also because house prices had risen
so much, builders were so demoralized, and the improvement in the flow
of savings to the thrift institutions was not likely to be sustained.
Mr. Morris commented that the Boston Bank staff, using the
Data Resources, Inc. model and making exactly the same assumptions



as had been made by the Board's staff, projected a rate of growth
in real GNP of only 1.3 per cent in the second half of this year,
compared with the Board staff's projection of a 4.3 per cent rate.
He suggested that the Board staff's projection of a month agowhich indicated a 1.9 per cent rate of growth in the second halfmight be better than its latest one.
Mr. Partee responded that the kind of tax relief proposed
by the President had no

historical precedent, and therefore, pro

jections depended a great deal on the assumptions one made with
respect to the proportion of the personal tax refunds that would
be spent and with respect to the degree of extra stimulus to busi
ness spending that might be provided by the temporary feature of
the increase in the investment tax credit.

It was possible that in

the DRI model, less stimulation was attributed to the tax program.
Mr. Pierce added that none of the models could take into
account the effects flowing from an increase in the investment tax
credit which was limited in duration.

In the judgmental forecast,

the rates of expansion in both business fixed investment and per
sonal consumption expenditures had been raised somewhat from those
generated by the model, in order to take account of the special
features of the increase in the tax credit and the reduction in
personal income taxes.

Consequently, the staff expected the annual



rate of expansion in real GNP during the second half of this year
to be about 1-1/2 percentage points higher than it would have been
otherwise, and that would account for much of the difference between
the Board staff and DRI projections.
Chairman Burns remarked that the tax measures proposed by
the President differed from any in the past not only because the
increase in the investment tax credit was for one year only, but
also because the personal tax reduction came in the form of two
lump-sum rebates.

Consequently, not much could be learned from

history about the effects that those measures would have.


the objective of those who designed the measures was to get the
maximum amount of fiscal stimulation from the specified reduction
in tax revenues.
Mr. Eastburn observed that one pleasant surprise in the
recent statistics was the degree to which the rate of increase in
prices had slowed.

Moreover, one heard that for nonferrous metal

products and some other commodities, actual transactions prices
were declining relative to the list prices reflected in the indexes,
with the latter being held up by manufacturers because of their
fear that price controls would be reimposed.

Against that back

ground, he asked how confident the staff was about its projections
for prices and wages.



Mr. Partee replied that there were no periods earlier in the
postwar era that could be analyzed for guidance concerning the effect
on wage rates of, on the one hand, an 8 per cent unemployment rate
and, on the other hand, a 12 per cent annual rate of increase in the
consumer price index sustained over a considerable number of months.
In the projection, compensation per manhour declined from a peak rate
of 10.8 per cent in the third quarter of 1974 to 7.7 per cent in the
second quarter of 1976.

That seemed to him to be a rather optimistic

Although the high rate of unemployment would have a

moderating effect on wage rate increases, the increase of nearly one
fourth in consumer prices over the past 2 years was bound to exert a
strong influence even in the non-unionized industries where benevolent
employers would want their employees' living standards to be maintained.
If wage rate increases continued large, as projected, the resulting
rise in unit labor costs would continue to exert substantial upward
pressure on the structure of prices.
Mr. Pierce added that in his judgment the chances were better
than even that the wage and price projections were close to the mark.
For the reasons stated by Mr. Partee, the models were quite unreliable,
probably tending to overstate the rate of inflation to be expected.
In the projection, the rate of increase in labor costs per unit of
output was down to about 5 per cent by the second quarter of 1976,
and he regarded that as reasonable.



Chairman Burns remarked that some representatives of the
construction industry had told him that wage rates had stabilized
in the part of their industry that was not unionized.
Mr. Wallich asked Mr. Partee for his assessment of the
share of the contemplated rate of monetary growth that, under
current conditions, might be reflected in the rate of increase
in prices rather than in expanded output.
Mr. Partee said he would judge that given the generally
low rate of resource utilization, an increase in demands stemming
from monetary expansion would have almost no inflationary effect
in the short run; the impact would be almost entirely on physical

It was possible, however, that faster monetary expansion

in the period immediately ahead might be reflected in stronger infla
tionary pressures later on, if output rose enough in relation to
Mr. Wallich said he agreed with the judgment that under
present conditions the impact of monetary expansion was likely to
be largely on production.

He also believed that the estimated policy

lags suggested that prices might rise at some more distant time in
the future.
Chairman Burns remarked that money created now might merely
be reflected in a decline in velocity rather than in an increase in




On the other hand, there were historical experiences

of monetary expansion leading to inflationary pressures rather quickly,
even when rates of resource utilization were low.
In reply to a question by Mr. Kimbrel, Mr. Partee commented
that special price concessions of the sort mentioned by Mr. East
burn had been taken into account in making the staff projections.


consumer price indexes used to deflate components of personal consump
tion expenditures comprised the most important part of the GNP defla
tor, and the increases in projected prices for both durable and non
durable goods over the projection period were well below the rates in
recent quarters.

The price rises in the period ahead, moreover, were

less rapid than the increases in unit labor costs in the same sectors,
reflecting special price concessions for apparel, appliances, and
furniture as well as for automobiles.

Prices of services, however,

were projected to continue upward at a fast pace, and prospects still
seemed to point toward a substantial rise in food prices during the
spring and summer, followed by moderation in the rise later in the year.
Mr. Balles asked whether the staff could provide some general
indication of the effects that the President's energy program, should
it be enacted, would have on economic developments over the period
covered by the staff projection.
Mr. Partee observed that, in the staff's judgment, the program
might raise the level of the consumer price index by about 3 per cent



by the middle of 1976--the end of the projection period--and perhaps
by as much as 4 per cent over a period of 2 to 2-1/2 years from the
time of its implementation.

Gasoline and heating oil prices,

for example, would increase promptly, while average electric
utility rates would rise gradually.

Increases in prices of energy

would have secondary effects on wage rates and on prices of other
goods and services over a still longer period of time.

The price

increases provoked by the program and the expansion in expenditures
associated with them would tend to weaken demands for other goods
and services, unless the rate of monetary growth was raised in com

The econometric model indicated that if such an allow

ance in the monetary growth rate were not made, the unemployment rate
in the second quarter of next year would be increased by roughly one
half of a percentage point--that is, the rate would be a little above
8.5 per cent rather than slightly over 8 per cent.

In forming that

judgment, the staff had made no allowance for possible structural
side-effects of the program, such as the effects of higher energy
prices on demands involving the resort industries and condominium
developments; that could prove to be the straw that would precipitate
business failures.
In response to a question by Mr. Black, Chairman Burns
observed that the staff obviously believed that the Administration's



forecast of a 2 per cent rise in the consumer price index result
ing from the energy program was too low.

In the Administration's

estimate, which purported to be inclusive, the effects would be
exhausted during the course of 1975; in the staff's judgment, the
effects would extend throughout 1976.
Mr. Mitchell remarked that over recent months staff pro
jections of the level of activity in the period ahead had been
progressively reduced, and his confidence in the ability to see
what lay ahead had weakened.

Today, however, he had the impres

sion that the staff had greater confidence in its projection for
the first and second quarters of the year, and perhaps for the
third quarter as well.

One reason for that greater confidence

appeared to be a notion that the rate of decline in real GNP was
on the verge of diminishing, and that once it did so, an upturn
would follow.

And secondly, one could expect some strengthening

in over-all activity to result from a decline in the rate of inven
tory liquidation and from the stimulation to residential construction
that would be provided by the improved inflows of funds to the thrift

He wondered whether the staff agreed that there was

justification for viewing prospects for the intermediate term with
less uncertainty than in the recent past.

If so, the Committee

might be able to devise a policy appropriate to that period of time



with a greater degree of confidence than had been possible in the
past 4 or 5 months.
Mr. Partee agreed that his confidence in the staff projections
for the immediate future had improved.

He believed that economic

activity would not slide into a deeper and deeper recession--in
effect, into a major depression--but would decline at a diminishing
rate in the first half and then turn up.

Most importantly, the fiscal

stabilizers were working; the Administration had proposed a program of
fiscal stimulus; and the Committee was endeavoring to achieve monetary

In addition, he believed that younger Americans basically

were more optimistic than the Depression generation had been, and
consequently, that their propensity to spend was more likely to
recover as their situation improved or, at least,stopped deteriorating.
Mr. Partee added that, in view of population growth and the
need to maintain the stock of automobiles, it was difficult to imagine
auto sales declining much further from the very low rates of recent

Similarly, given the underlying rate of household formation,

it seemed unlikely that housing starts would have much further a de
cline in them from the December annual rate of 870,000 units.


one major fear he had was that the expected upturn could be thwarted
by the spreading of business bankruptcies, abroad as well as at home,
to an extent that would disrupt financial markets and impair public



Messrs. MacLaury and Karaken entered the meeting at this point.
Mr. Holland asked whether it was correct to infer from
Mr. Partee's remarks that the rates of monetary growth implicit in
present policy would be adequate to bring about an upturn in economic
activity--and that, in fact, some shortfall in monetary growth could
occur without aborting the recovery--but that continuance of policy
on the same course indefinitely would start to dampen the recovery at
some time and limit its duration.
In response, Mr. Partee noted that the staff had assumed a
6 per cent rate of growth of M1

over the projection period.

On the

assumption that the President's energy proposals were not put into
effect, he agreed that Mr. Holland's interpretation was correct.


respect to the effects of a shortfall in monetary growth in the period
immediately ahead, he agreed that it was not likely to abort the re
covery provided that it occurred in an environment of declining interest
rates and easing credit conditions.

Unless the shortfall were made up

later on this year, however, the dimensions of the over-all recovery
in activity would be smaller than projected by the staff.
With reference to Mr, Partee's remarks concerning possible
financial shocks, Mr. Debs asked whether it was correct, as it
appeared to him, that the risks of such disturbances were less now
than they had been a few months earlier.



Mr. Partee replied that,apart from the REIT's, the financial
sector might be in less difficulty now than earlier.

For nonfinan

cial corporations, however, the worst might still lie ahead.


coming months corporate profits and cash flow would decline sharply,
and many nonfinancial corporations were likely to be subjected to
severe tests.
Chairman Burns remarked that as a result of the difficulties
that nonfinancial corporations might experience, banks might suffer
large losses, provoking serious consequences for the financial
In response to a further question by Mr. Debs, Mr. Partee
remarked that business efforts to improve their liquidity were
likely to continue for some time.

Many corporate treasurers

appeared to have the conviction that they needed to restructure
their liabilities, and in consequence, they continued to demand
funds in the long-term market even though rate spreads now favored
short-term borrowing.
Responding to a question by Mr. Mayo, Mr. Partee observed
that there was little in past experience either in the United
States or in other countries that was helpful in judging the possible
effects of the sort of income injections represented by the personal
income tax rebates proposed by the President.

Quarterly GNP data



for the mid-1930's were not sufficiently reliable to permit judg
ments about the effects of the veterans' bonus disbursed at
that time.

In early 1950, a large National Service Life Insurance

dividend was paid, but its effects could not be disentangled from
those of the Korean war which broke out only a few months later.
Other estimates of the proportion of the tax rebates likely to be spent
generally ranged down from the 50 per cent estimated by the staff.
Mr. Baughman remarked that if confidence did not improve
and economic activity did not turn up, involuntary transfers of
ownership of existing assets were likely to occur and debts were
likely to be converted involuntarily into equity positions--in
some cases, through bankruptcy proceedings.

He asked whether data

were available that would permit such developments to be watched
Chairman Burns said, in response, that systematic data were
not available to follow such developments closely.

However, the

Reserve Bank Presidents often were in a position to learn, through
their informal contacts with bankers, how particular situations of
financial distress were being worked out by the commercial banks
and their customers, and it would be useful if every 2 weeks or so
the Presidents gave the Board reports on those situations.



Mr. Holland remarked that the percentage of loans on which
a bank was no longer accruing interest often was a useful indicator
of the spreading of such work-out situations.

It might be that

bank examiners, as they moved from bank to bank, could be alert
to changes in that particular ratio and report back to their Reserve
Chairman Burns agreed that such information could be useful,
along with reports on doubtful loans.
Before this meeting there had been distributed to the members
of the Committee a report from the Special Manager of the System Open
Market Account on foreign exchange market conditions and on Open
Market Account and Treasury operations in foreign currencies for the
period December 17, 1974 through January 15, 1975, and a supplemental
report covering the period January 16 through 20, 1975.

Copies of

these reports have been placed in the files of the Committee.
In supplementation of the written reports, Mr. Pardee made
the following statement:
We were hopeful that dollar rates would recover some
of the ground lost in December once the year-end pressures
had passed. But two developments quickly dispelled that
hope. First, just into the new year, German government
spokesmen again said that they would not mind seeing a
higher rate for the mark. This echoed the earlier
statement by Chancellor Schmidt, as well as the subsequent
qualifications that the government would not actually take



measures to push the rate up. Nevertheless, it had the
same psychological effect on the market. Traders began
talking about higher rates for the mark than they had
previously considered possible and the reflux into
dollars quickly dried up.
Second, the mounting evidence of an economic down
turn in the United States has troubled the exchanges.
Although the pattern is mixed, on balance the slowdown
elsewhere has not been so severe. This has given some
benefit to our trade balance and it should bolster the
dollar. Nevertheless, the markets have watched closely
the decline in interest rates here and in the Euro
dollar market. Several foreign central banks have cut
their discount rates in recent weeks, but the easing of
interest rates abroad has been piecemeal and generally
slower than ours. Moreover, the relative weakness of
the U.S. economy has reinforced expectations in the
market that interest rates will decline here all the
more, and these expectations have weighed heavily on
the dollar in the exchanges.
In recent days, the Swiss franc has been bid up
sharply, reportedly in connection with the covering of
some huge short positions of Sindona-related banks which
are now in various stages of liquidation. Since early
fall, the unruly run-up of the franc had been an unset
tling factor in the markets, and early in January the
Swiss National Bank resumed intervention in the spot
market, operating rather forcefully to turn the market
around. The Swiss National Bank has bought nearly $300
million so far and we have provided some follow-up in
New York.
This completes the circle of central banks willing
to intervene on a day-to-day basis to maintain orderly
markets, and during the period the central banks of
Germany, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands bought
dollars at times when the dollar weakened. In cushioning
operations we intervened on 11 days during the period,
selling a total of $92 million equivalent of German marks,
of which $69 million were financed by swap drawings and
the rest from balances; and $26 million equivalent of
Swiss francs, $10 million equivalent of Dutch guilders,
and $3 million equivalent of Belgian francs, all drawn
under the swap lines with the respective central banks.



On a few occasions when the dollar was buoyant, we
recouped some of the Swiss francs and guilders and
all of the Belgian francs, but we have not had an
opportunity to make a further dent in the mark
debt, which currently stands at $254 million. On
balance, the dollar declined by 1 to 2 per cent
against the major European currencies during the
Looking ahead, there are several elements of
strength for the dollar, particularly the under
lying improvement in our trade account which should
continue. Moreover, despite the exhortations of
German government officials, the German trade sur
plus is clearly narrowing. But market psychology
remains in the grip of bearish factors. In addi
tion to interest rate considerations and more
generalized concerns over the U.S. economy, there
remain fears of another war in the Middle East.
Some good news would surely help.
Chairman Burns asked Mr. Bryant for his views on prospects
for the U.S. trade balance.
Mr. Bryant noted that the staff's best guess about the
outlook for trade was incorporated in the green book; there it
was projected that net exports of goods and services would decline
somewhat, although not markedly, in coming quarters.

The projec

tions for imports had been raised a bit since the previous green
book as one consequence of the new assumptions about fiscal policy.
Nevertheless, imports in real terms were still expected to be
quite weak.

Real exports also were projected to be weak, because

of the weakness anticipated in economic activity abroad.




suspected that the staff's expectations for foreign economic activity
were, if anything, a little too optimistic; accordingly, he would be
inclined to shade the export projection downward.
The Chairman noted that Messrs. Pardee and Bryant evidently
differed in their views on the trade outlook.
Mr. Pardee remarked that foreign trade was a particularly
hazardous area for forecasting.

He did feel, however, that the out

look was stronger than Mr. Bryant had suggested.
Mr. Bryant then observed that Mr. Pardee had mentioned some
of the uncertainties affecting prospects for dollar exchange rates.
He might add another to the list:

the uncertainty about the extent

to which OPEC investments would flow into dollar assets as opposed
to, say, Swiss franc and German mark assets.

It was unclear at

present whether much of the recent strength of the Swiss franc and
the mark was attributable to efforts by the OPEC countries to invest
in those currencies.
Chairman Burns noted that the flows of funds would be
affected to some extent by expected legislation in Germany to
restrict OPEC investments.
Mr. Bryant agreed.

He added that the contemplated legis

lation would affect direct investments and large purchases of equity

He understood, however, that it would not limit



acquisitions of fixed-income assets in Germany or Euro-mark
deposits in banks outside Germany.
In response to the Chairman's request for comment,
Mr. Solomon said there was still another variable to be con
sidered, namely the magnitude of capital outflows from the
United States.

The Board's staff was projecting a small surplus

on U.S. trade in goods and services in 1975, and from Mr. Pardee's
comments he gathered that the staff at the New York Bank expected
a somewhat larger surplus.

For the United States to be a net

importer of capital at a time when it was running such a surplus
would not make much sense.

Perhaps the relationships that would

emerge between financial conditions in this country and in other
countries would act to prevent the United States from importing
capital on balance; in particular, any inflows of OPEC funds to
the United States might be matched by capital outflows, through
U.S. banks or otherwise.

In any case, it was important to con

sider U.S. capital outflows if one was interested in prospects
for the dollar and in the viability of the international payments

Holland noted that the staff's projections implied

further declines in U.S. interest rates.

He asked whether it was

reasonable to expect rates in other industrialized countries to



follow U.S. rates down or whether further declines here would
simply widen existing differentials.
Mr. Bryant replied that developments in recent months
suggested that some countries--including Italy, and perhaps also
Britain and France--were willing to follow the lead of others,
such as the United States and Germany, in permitting interest
rates to decline.

It was his personal view that the recent de

clines in U.S. rates were due primarily to the weakening of
economic activity.

It was true that rates on dollar assets had

fallen faster than those on assets denominated in, say, German
marks or French or Swiss francs--a fact that had been widely
noted in the exchange markets, and that represented one important
reason for the recent fall in dollar exchange rates.

Thus, even

if U.S. rates were now to stabilize, rates in Europe--and in
Japan, where the declines thus far had been limited--would have
some catching up to do.

Any further declines in U.S. interest rates

would provide an opportunity for additional reductions in rates in

those countries with precarious balance of payments positions.
Mr. Pardee concurred in Mr. Bryant's observations.


added that market participants expected U.S. rates to continue
to fall more sharply than those abroad.

In their view, the foreign

central banks that had reduced their discount rates thus far had



tended to follow declines in market rates, whereas U.S. discount
rate cuts had led the market down and would continue to do so.
Chairman Burns noted that highly restrictive monetary
policies were still being pursued in a number of countries,
including Japan, Britain, France, and Switzerland.
Mr. Wallich asked whether Mr. Pardee had heard reports of
any new developments with respect to the proposal being considered
by the Common Market countries to limit the range of day-to-day
fluctuations in the exchange rates against the dollar.
Mr. Pardee replied in the negative.

While he had not yet

seen the document containing the proposal, he understood that it
would not involve a marked departure from current practice.
In response to a question, Mr. Wallich said the proposal
was to limit daily fluctuations in the exchange rate against the

dollar for each Common Market currency to either 1.0 or 0.75 per

Thus, it was directed more at maintaining orderly markets

than at any longer-range intervention objective.

It did, however,

imply some tightening of the bands for the "snake" currencies, and

it perhaps would draw France into a somewhat closer relation with
the countries participating in the "snake" arrangement.

As the

discussions proceeded it was likely that the Common Market countries
would inquire of the Federal Reserve about the extent to which it

was willing to help.



Mr. Black noted that at a number of recent Committee meet
ings Mr. Coombs had expressed the view that the dollar was under

Accordingly, he (Mr. Black) was rather disturbed about

the recent intervention operations in dollars undertaken in support
of their own currencies by the Japanese, Italians, and British,
since those operations tended to put downward pressure on the dollar.
He asked whether there was any possibility that such countries might
use other currencies, such as the German mark or Swiss franc, in
their support operations.
In reply, Mr. Pardee said he might first note that it was
hard to assess the impact that such support operations had had on
the general level of dollar exchange rates, given the huge pool
of dollars in the world today.

Nevertheless, the procedure

Mr. Black had suggested no doubt would be helpful.

He suspected

that the possibility of conducting intervention operations in
currencies other than the dollar had been discussed, perhaps
with the Germans, by some of the countries mentioned.

The issue

might also have been raised in connection with the general discus
sions now under way of intervention strategy and tactics.
By unanimous vote, the System
open market transactions in foreign
currencies during the period December 17,
1974, through January 20, 1975, were
approved, ratified, and confirmed.



Mr. Pardee reported that six System drawings on the German
Federal Bank, totaling $130.4 million, would mature for the first
time in the period from February 11 through February 27, 1975.


recommended that those drawings be renewed for further periods of
3 months, if necessary, when they matured.
Renewal for further periods of
3 months of System drawings on the
German Federal Bank maturing in the
period February 11-27, 1975, was
noted without objection.
Mr. Pardee said he would also recommend the renewal, if
necessary, of drawings in Swiss and Belgian francs that would
mature for the fourteenth time in February.

Specifically, a drawing

of $371.2 million on the Swiss National Bank, and a Swiss franc
drawing of $600 million on the Bank for International Settlements,
would mature on February 14; and six drawings, totaling $230 million,
on the National Bank of Belgium, would mature in the period from
February 4 through February 14.

Since those drawings had been out

standing for more than a year, specific Committee authorization for
their renewal was required under the provisions of paragraph 1D of
the Authorization for Foreign Currency Operations.
With respect to the Belgian franc drawings, Mr. Pardee con
tinued, the Treasury's negotiations with the Belgians concerning
the applicability of the revaluation clause in the swap contract



had about run their course.

Last June the Committee had delegated to

the Subcommittee, consisting of Chairman Burns, Vice Chairman Hayes,
and Mr. Mitchell, the authority to act on the Committee's behalf with
to repayment terms on the Belgian franc, as well as the Swiss


franc, drawings.

Accordingly, he would shortly submit to the Sub

committee his recommendations on that complicated matter.
After discussion, it was agreed that the renewal of the
drawings in question should be authorized.
By unanimous vote, renewal for
further periods of 3 months of System
drawings on the National Bank of Belgium,
the Swiss National Bank, and the Bank for
International Settlements, maturing in the
period February 4-14, 1975, was authorized.
Secretary's note: A report by Mr. Wallich on certain
recent international monetary meetings, which was dis
tributed during this meeting, is appended to this
memorandum as Attachment A.
Thereupon the meeting recessed until 9:30 a.m. the following
morning, Tuesday, January 21, 1975.

The attendance was the same as

on Monday afternoon except that Mr. Sheehan and Mr. Coyne also were
By unanimous vote, the minutes
of actions taken at the meeting of the
Federal Open Market Committee held on
December 16-17, 1974, were approved.

The memorandum of discussion for
the meeting of the Federal Open Market
Committee held on December 16-17, 1974,
was accepted.



Before this meeting there had been distributed to the

members of the Committee a report from the Manager of the System
Open Market Account covering domestic open market operations for
the period December 17, 1974, through January 15, 1975, and a
supplemental report covering the period January 16 through 20,

Copies of both reports have been placed in the files of

the Committee.
In supplementation of the written reports, Mr. Holmes
made the following statement:
Over the period since the Committee last met,
open market operations became increasingly accommodative
in providing nonborrowed reserves as the monetary aggre
gates consistently showed slower rates of growth than
the Committee had desired. After a period of rather
frantic money market churning around the year-end,
interest rates began to decline, influenced in part by
the 1/2 percentage point cut in the discount rate in
early January. Over the period, rates on short-term
private market instruments fell by 1-1/2 to 2 percentage
points. Long-term rates responded only moderately, but
the corporate market was able to handle a record volume
of financing much more readily than had been anticipated
before the year-end. In yesterday's regular Treasury
bill auction, an average rate of 6.37 per cent was estab
lished for 3- and 6-month bills, down 69 and 49 basis
points, respectively, from rates established in the
auction just prior to the last Committee meeting. I
understand that, in response to the reserve require
ment action, bill rates are sharply lower this morning,
with the 3-month bill trading as low as 6.17 per cent.
Year-end pressures were even more intense than
usual as commercial banks sought aggressively to build
up their positions by the statement date. Competition
in the CD market drove the 30-day rate as high as



9-3/4 per cent late in December. Under the weight of
this pressure, the Federal funds rate was slow to respond
to the more plentiful supply of reserves, and banks
tended to carry unusually high excess reserves. For much
of this period, in fact, there seemed to be little rela
tionship between the quantity of reserves actually in
the banking system and the Federal funds rate. On Monday,
December 30, for example, the 46 money market banks had
accumulated almost $11 billion in excess reserves, but
the oversupply did not show through in the money market
until the final day of the year when funds traded as low
as 1/2 per cent.
A measure of sanity returned to the financial markets
as the new year got under way. Generally speaking, the
market is anticipating further easing by the Federal
Reserve as long as the economy continues to be weak and
the aggregates exhibit sluggish growth. The President's
program to fight the threefold problem of recession,
inflation, and energy is a matter of lively debate and
the progress of legislation through Congress will be
closely watched.
While interest rates have declined, a certain air
of caution remains in financial markets and in the
banking system. Dealers have displayed a willingness
to cut back their inventories in response to retail
demand, rather than to exact the last ounce of profit
from investors. With prices generally on the rise,
profit performance has, of course, been good and the
sharp decline in short-term rates has reduced the cost
of carry.
The size of Treasury financing needs does cast
a cloud over the market. Whether or not private credit
demands will weaken enough to make room for Treasury
financing will be a key factor in the interest rate
picture in the months ahead. Bank attitudes toward
their investment policies will also be important. So
far, because of concern about capital adequacy and
liquidity, banks have not been as active participants
in securities markets as would normally be expected
at this stage of the business cycle. Whether this
will change with time remains to be seen.
As far as open market operations are concerned,
the Desk has been quite active on both sides of the



market, injecting or absorbing reserves to counteract
the erratic movement of market factors and swings in
the way commercial banks manage their reserves. Over
the period through last Friday, outright purchases and
sales of Treasury bills--many directly with foreign
accounts--were about matching at about $1 billion each
way. The Desk also purchased $685 million of Treasury
and Federal agency coupon securities. Reflecting the
erratic movement of reserve numbers, repurchase agree
ments amounted to over $13 billion and matched sale
purchase transactions in the market came to $6 billion.
The System also arranged matched transactions of about
$3 billion with foreign accounts directly.
As far as the Treasury is concerned, it will announce
tomorrow the terms of its February refunding of $3.6 bil
lion publicly held maturing securities. The market also
expects that the Treasury will take the opportunity to
raise additional cash. I would plan to exchange the
System holdings of $1.2 billion maturing securities into
whatever issues the Treasury offers, in proportion to
the amounts offered to the public.
Finally, I would like to report on the status of
the System's guaranteed acceptances held by foreigners.
As of mid-January, outstandings were reduced to $592
million from the peak of over $2 billion on November 6,
1974. The last $2 million of such acceptances will
mature in May. A few foreign accounts have been buying
unguaranteed acceptances, and the amount held for those
accounts is now at $176 million. In general, the market
has performed reasonably well, as should be expected in
a period of declining interest rates.
In response to a question by Chairman Burns, Mr. Holmes
said that, on the whole, the market had adjusted quite smoothly
to the elimination of the System's guarantee on acceptances held
by foreign accounts.

Initially, regional banks had encountered

some minor difficulties in selling acceptances, but as he had
indicated, over all the market had performed reasonably well.



In reply to a question from Mr. Black, Mr. Holmes said
that although rates on acceptances differed according to the
credit standing of the accepting bank, it appeared that banks
had not faced serious problems in moving acceptances.
Mr. Black then said he was concerned about the cautious
attitudes of banks because he felt such attitudes had contributed
to the recent sluggishness in the growth of the money supply.


asked whether Mr. Holmes thought the reserve requirement cut
announced yesterday would affect bank attitudes.
In reply, Mr. Holmes said he thought yesterday's action
would probably have some effect on attitudes.

On the whole, however,

he would expect banks to remain more cautious than normally.
In response to a question by Chairman Burns, Mr. Black
said he would not like to see any significant expansion of bank
loans at this time.

He noted, however, that banks seemed reluctant

even to buy investments, and they were tending to hold excess
reserves for unusually long periods.

He hoped that banks would

begin to increase their investments and thus stimulate growth in
the monetary aggregates.
By unanimous vote, the open market
transactions in Government securities,
agency obligations, and bankers' accept
ances during the period December 17,
1974, through January 20, 1975, were
approved, ratified, and confirmed.



Mr. Axilrod made the following statement on prospective
financial relationships:
Of the alternatives presented in the blue book,1/
alternative A is based on the 6 per cent rate of growth
in M1 over the 7-month period from November 1974 to
June 1975 that was adopted by the Committee at its
previous meeting. As indicated in the blue book, attain
ment of such a growth rate--given the shortfall in
December--would require a 6-3/4 per cent rate of growth
in M1 over the first half of this year. Since January
expansion in M1 also appears to be falling well short
of long-run desires, an even more rapid rate of growth
in M1 would be implied for the months ahead.
Of the other alternatives shown, alternative B in
effect forgives the December shortfall and is based
on a 6 per cent rate of growth over the first half of
this year. Alternative C includes a rate of growth
in M1 over the first half of this year of around
5-1/4 per cent. Growth rates for M2 under all three
alternatives work out to be on the order of 2 to 3
percentage points more than for M1 .
The Committee is well aware that there has been
a steady shortfall in M1 growth in recent months at
given Federal funds rates. A principal reason for
this has been the continued weakening of the economy
relative to projections. That does not, however, in
my view fully account for the weakness in M1 growth.
So far as we can tell from our models, the demand
deposit component of M1 has been weaker relative to
both actual GNP and interest rates than would have been
predicted. An obvious question is: has demand for
money more or less permanently shifted downward in
relation to GNP, or have we simply been confronted
with a temporary aberration? We do not yet have suf
ficient experience, or reason, to assume a permanent
downward shift in money demand. In January, growth
in broader measures of money appears larger than
usual relative to M1, possibly indicating an increased
preference for interest-bearing deposits relative to
demand deposits. But month-to-month variations in the
mix of deposits have been volatile enough to preclude
1/ The report, "Monetary Aggregates and Money Market Conditions,"
prepared for the Committee by the Board's staff.



conclusions at this point that the public has, on a
permanent basis, shifted its preference more toward
time deposits or other instruments relative to demand
deposits. Thus, we have assumed a sharp rebound in
growth of demand deposits and of M1 in February and
March as past relationships between demand deposits
and other variables are restored.
But it also needs to be recognized that develop
ments with respect to the supply of money, rather than
to money demand, may be retarding money growth. Banks
have been very cautious in their approach to lending
and investing in recent months. The lag in the decline
of the prime loan rate is one bit of evidence. Another
piece of evidence is the apparent rise in banks' demand
for free reserves above what would have been predicted
given current market interest rate levels. As a result,
we have experienced a sharp drop in member bank borrow
ings over the past several weeks that has offset a good
part of the reserves supplied through open market opera
tions. In other words, increased liquidity preference
on the part of banks may have been retarding money growth.
Given the available reserve supply, our projections of
M1 assume that banks will become more willing lenders
and investors over the weeks ahead; to be explicit, they
assume that, once borrowings are reduced to relatively
low levels, banks will not wish to add large amounts
to their excess reserves.
Obviously, we cannot be sure at what point, or to
what extent, either the demand and/or supply sides of
the money function will once again exhibit more normal
behavior. Thus, a larger than usual measure of uncer
tainty adheres to staff projections of relationships
between interest rates and the money supply.
In response to a question from Mr. Bucher, Mr. Axilrod
said he had no plausible explanation for the slow rate of growth
during December in consumer-type time and savings deposits, and
therefore in M 2 .

After considering and rejecting various hypotheses,

the staff had concluded that the slow December growth was simply a
random aberration.



Mr. Bucher noted that data on currency in circulation
showed a marked increase in the rate of growth of large denominations,
For example, currency in denominations of $50 through $10,000 had
increased at an annual rate of more than 16 per cent in 1974, com
pared with about 12 per cent in 1973 and 8 per cent in 1969.


the increase in large denominations outstanding was primarily for
purposes of hoarding, then a growing proportion of the money supply
would be inactive.

That, of course, would have implications for

the significance of particular changes in M1.
In reply, Mr. Axilrod remarked that both the rapid growth
of currency and the particularly sharp rise in large denominations
outstanding in 1974 appeared to be primarily explainable in terms
of transactions needs in a year of rapid inflation.

In his judg

ment, the 1974 increases did not deviate sufficiently from recent
trends to suggest that there had been a substantial increase in
Mr. Morris commented that his staff's findings supported
Mr. Axilrod's conclusion that the growth in currency holdings in
1974 was not much out of line with recent experience.
Mr. Mitchell agreed that the currency increase likely was
due to transactions demands and not hoarding.

He noted, for example,

that the indifferent reaction of Americans to the opportunity to



purchase gold cast doubt on the hypothesis that hoarding had
become prevalent.
Mr. Wallich noted that large CD's outstanding had increased
sharply during 1974.

In his judgment, changes in CD's--as well as

the month-to-month fluctuations in Government deposits--created
greater difficulties in interpreting money supply statistics than
did movements in currency.
Mr. Eastburn asked about the rate at which M

was likely

to grow in 1975 if the Federal funds rate were held steadily in
the neighborhood of, say, 6 per cent.
In response, Mr. Axilrod said his best judgment--which
could, of course, be off the mark--was that with a 6 per cent
funds rate M

would grow at a rate of about 6-3/4 per cent during

the first half of 1975 and considerably faster--probably at more
than an 8 per cent rate--in the second half, assuming that the
staff's GNP projections were correct.
Mr. Coldwell asked how confident the staff felt about the
probability of attaining the M 1 growth rates for the January-February
period shown under the various alternatives in the blue book, such as
the 4 to 6 per cent rate of alternative A, given the shortfalls of
recent months.
Mr. Axilrod replied that his confidence was not high.
the basis of past experience, it seemed reasonable to expect a




rebound in the money supply, and under all three alternatives M
was projected to grow at a rate of 8 to 9 per cent in February.
Such a February growth rate was likely, however, only if there
was a pick up in demand deposit growth in the last half of

He was not at all certain that that would occur in the

present environment.
Mr. Coldwell then asked whether another shortfall might
not result if loan demands remained weak or if banks continued
to exercise caution in making loans.
In reply, Mr. Axilrod noted that the staff projections
assumed that banks would buy investments--in particular, that
they would participate heavily in the upcoming Treasury financ
ing--especially when faced with the alternative of holding large
excess reserves.

There now were substantially more safe invest

ment outlets than, for example, in the 1930's when banker caution
had led to a sharp run-up in excess reserves.

In the current

environment banks certainly should be willing buyers of U.S.
Government securities, if nothing else.
Mr. Morris said he was disturbed by Mr. Axilrod's comments
on demand deposits today, just as he had been last night on reading
in one of the documents distributed that the staff had found "no



fully convincing rationale for the slow rate of growth of the
demand deposit component of the money stock."

In his view,

the staff was neglecting the fundamental proposition that
deposit growth depends on the expansion of bank loans and invest

In that regard, he noted that total bank loans and in

vestments were lower in December of 1974 than in July.


total reserves had declined over that period, according to a
blue book chart, and excess reserves had not risen markedly.


his judgment, the lack of demand deposit growth stemmed simply
from the fact that banks had not had an adequate reserve base to
permit deposit expansion.
Mr. Axilrod said he might note in defense of the staff
that the analysis Mr. Morris had quoted had not addressed the
question of how to increase money growth; had it done so, the
answer would have been to supply more reserves.

Instead, the

purpose had been to examine a demand relationship--that between
the amount of money the public wanted to hold and interest rates,
at given levels of GNP.

The staff had concluded that the money

supply would have grown faster recently than it in fact had if the
historical relationship had been holding.

Since none of the

explanations for the shortfall that were explored had proved
satisfactory, and since, in the past, the demand curve had



exhibited long-run stability, it had not seemed unreasonable
to conclude that the level of demand deposits would move back
into a more normal relationship with interest rates.
Continuing, Mr. Axilrod remarked that because of an
apparent increase in recent months in their demands for free
reserves, member banks had sharply reduced their borrowings
from the System, so that the behavior of total reserves had been
much weaker than that of nonborrowed reserves.

Open market

operations directed at achieving a still faster growth in non
borrowed reserves would have resulted in a sharp drop in the
Federal funds rate, and the Committee had chosen to constrain
declines in the funds rate.
Mr. Morris said he agreed that the Committee's constraint
on declines in the funds rate was responsible for the recent
lack of growth in reserves, which in turn explained the weakness
in deposits.
Chairman Burns observed that there evidently was some
confusion in the various kinds of information on reserves shown
in the blue book.

For example, a text table indicated that total

reserves had grown at annual rates of about 8-1/2 per cent in
the past 12 months, 6-1/2 per cent in the past 6 months, and
4-1/2 per cent in the past 3 months.

Those data were inconsistent



with the indication in the chart to which Mr. Morris had referred
that total reserves had declined on balance in recent months.


might note in passing that the growth rates shown for nonborrowed
reserves were far higher--10-1/2, 20-1/2, and nearly 35 per cent
for the past 12, 6, and 3 months, respectively.
Mr. Axilrod observed that the apparent inconsistency was
a result of a difference in the way in which changes in reserve
requirements were treated in the blue book in connection with data
on reserve levels and on growth rates in reserves.

All figures

on growth rates were adjusted to compensate for changes in reserve

On the other hand, the charts and tables relating

to reserve levels reflected the actual levels, without such adjust

The usual procedure was to indicate in the charts of reserve

levels the points at which requirements had been changed by breaks
in the line and explanatory footnotes.

It appeared, however, that

in the chart Mr. Morris had cited such indications had been inad
vertently omitted in connection with the reserve requirement changes
of September and December 1974.

That omission had contributed to

the confusion mentioned by the Chairman.
Mr. Axilrod added that the marked difference between the
fourth-quarter growth rates of total reserves and nonborrowed



reserves--4-1/2 per cent for the former and nearly 35 per cent for
the latter--reflected the sharp drop in member bank borrowings he
had mentioned.

The 4-1/2 per cent increase in total reserves

might best be viewed in relation to the 4.1 per cent increase in
the bank credit proxy, which includes all bank deposits subject
to reserves.
In response to a question by Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Axilrod said
banks had reduced their borrowing partly because the System had
been supplying a substantial amount of nonborrowed reserves.


was true that their repayments were larger than might have been
expected on the basis of past relationships between the discount
rate and market rates.

In his judgment, that reflected a strong

for liquidity stemming from the aftermath of the Franklin

National Bank failure and other developments affecting confidence.
Mr. Mitchell said the Federal Reserve apparently had
accommodated that desire for liquidity.

However, he wondered

how banks might respond in the future, now that their borrowings
had been reduced to low levels.
Mr. Coldwell remarked that the reduction in borrowing did
not necessarily indicate that banks had fully satisfied their
desire for liquidity.



Mr. Mitchell then asked whether the volume of activity
in the inter-bank market had changed significantly.
Mr. Axilrod replied that inter-bank borrowing appeared
to have dropped more than seasonally in the latter part of Decemberprobably in conjunction with particularly intensive year-end window
dressing efforts--but it had picked up since then.
Chairman Burns observed that he had had a table prepared
showing growth rates by years for eight different concepts of
the money supply.

He had asked for those data because, in a

changing world, liquidity requirements were increasingly being
met in novel ways,and in his judgment the Committee tended to focus
unduly on the narrowly defined measure of money.

Without citing all

of the figures, he might note that using the broadest definition
--which included CD's, savings bonds, short-term U.S. Government
paper, and commercial paper--money had grown at a rate of 10 per
cent in 1974, as compared with 4.5 per cent for M1, 7.3 per cent
for M 2 , and 6.7 per cent for M3.

In addition, since 1966 the

broadest concept of money had grown far more rapidly than either
M1 or M2 , and the gap between that comprehensive measure and the
narrowly defined money supply had widened.

He intended to have

more extensive analyses made of such data and would have the
results distributed to the Committee.



Mr. Wallich remarked that the staff's current projections
for the first half of 1975 would tend to support the Chairman's
findings, since they allowed for considerably more rapid growth
in M2 and M3 than in M1.

On the other hand, he recalled that prior

to the 1960 recession, when he was a member of the Council of Economic
Advisers, the Council had responded to criticisms of the slow growth
in M1 by referring to the ample growth in total liquid assets.


fact that a recession subsequently did occur suggested that M


have been a more appropriate measure to focus on than total liquid
assets, at least at that time.
In response to a question by the Chairman, Mr. Wallich
observed that the direction of causality was unclear; M1 might
have declined then because of the recession.
Mr. Balles said he agreed with the view expressed by
Mr. Morris that inadequate reserve growth, stemming from the
Committee's constraint on declines in the Federal funds rate,
had resulted in monetary growth substantially below the Com
mittee's targets.

He recalled that on an earlier occasion,

when growth in the monetary aggregates was exceeding the Com
mittee's targets, the Chairman had observed that the explanation
was simple--the System was providing too many reserves.


same reasoning would seem to apply, in an opposite direction,
to the current situation.



Chairman Burns remarked that Mr. Balles' point was valid.
He might note, however, that interest rates had declined consider
ably in recent months.

For example, the Federal funds rate had

dropped from a peak of 13-1/2 per cent in early July to 7-1/4 per
cent currently, and the commercial paper rate had declined from
12-1/4 to 7-3/8 per cent.

To be sure, the Committee could have

tolerated an even faster decline in the funds rate, but doing so
would have increased the risk that rates would rise again at a
time when the economy was still weak.
Mr. Balles said he thought it was important to pursue
the question of the harm that might have resulted if the Committee
had permitted a more rapid decline in the funds rate--say, to a
level of 4 or 5 per cent.

Except for the risk the Chairman had

mentioned, he personally was unable to think of many ways in
which damage might have been done.
Chairman Burns replied that two factors came to mind

First, a large number of people, who had given

up hope as far as the

Congress and the Administration were con

cerned, still looked upon the Federal Reserve as the guardian
of the integrity of the nation's money and the guardian of mone
tary stability.

Secondly, the weakness in foreign exchange

markets in recent months had been due in part to the decline



in interest rates in the United States relative to interest rates

It was a fair judgment that if short-term rates had

fallen more rapidly than they actually had, the dollar would
have depreciated more--possibly much more.

That not only would

have reduced confidence but also would have had a direct effect
on the domestic price level.
Mr. MacLaury remarked that he also was impressed by the
magnitude of the recent decline in the Federal funds rate.


was noteworthy, however, that despite the large decline,the growth
rates of the monetary aggregates had been below the Committee's

With respect to the various concepts of money the

Chairman had mentioned earlier, he was not sure what significance
should be attached to the fact that the broader measures had
tended to grow more rapidly than the narrower ones.

It was

quite possible that because of structural changes the Committee
should begin to emphasize different measures of money than in
the past.

As far as the measures themselves were concerned,

however, he thought the essential question was not how fast
they were growing but how stable the relationship was between
their changes and changes in GNP over time.
The Chairman observed that growth rates for the various
concepts of money, when used in conjunction with turnover rates,



could provide some insight into the nature of institutional
changes under way.

Turnover rates of such money substitutes as

deposits at thrift institutions were rising, suggesting that
they were being used increasingly to serve the functions served
by money narrowly defined.

He might note that he had held some

preliminary discussions with the staff about the potential use
fulness of aggregating data for the various money-like assets,
with the series for each asset weighted by its turnover rate.
He was not yet sure that such a weighted aggregate would be
meaningful, but the approach seemed likely enough to be fruitful
to warrant further investigation.

Work along that line would

be going forward at the Board, and the Reserve Bank Presidents
might also be interested in having similar analyses carried out
at their Banks.
Mr. Holland referred to Mr. Axilrod's earlier comment that
in recent months the relationship among interest rates, GNP, and
M had gone awry.

He asked whether

M2 and M 3 had exhibited more

stable relationships with interest rates and GNP.
In reply, Mr. Axilrod said that particular question had
not been investigated in detail.

It was true, however, that the

behavior of consumer-type time and savings deposits had not been
as inconsistent with expectations as that of M1 , so that the



weakness in demand deposits had accounted for most of the weakness
in M2 and M3 . Accordingly, he suspected that the relationships
involving those aggregates had been more stable than that for
Mr. Black remarked that he had been interested in the
concept of a weighted-average monetary aggregate

for a long

time and thought the Chairman's suggestion that the subject be
investigated had a good deal of merit.

With respect to the out

look for money demands, he agreed with most of the points
Mr. Axilrod had made in his excellent presentation; with respect
to considerations bearing on the supply of money, he concurred
in the views Mr. Morris had expressed earlier.

On the question

of banker conservatism, he wondered about the extent to which
bankers' attitudes stemmed from concern about capital inadequacy,
as opposed to a desire for liquidity.
Mr. Axilrod replied

that it was difficult for him to

gauge the factors that might influence the decisions of bank

He believed, however, that capital adequacy was an

important factor.

He assumed that some role also was played by

concern about potential losses on loans and by awareness of the
dangerously over-extended positions banks had faced in the summer,
when they had had some difficulty in rolling over CD's.

Such con

siderations were, of course, related to the question of capital



Mr. Black then remarked that he saw no reason why such
cautiousness would prevent banks from investing rather heavily
in U.S. Government securities.
Mr. Axilrod observed that, as he had noted earlier, the
assumption that banks would acquire Government securities was
critical to the staff's projection of stepped-up money supply

Banks were expected to participate heavily in the forth

coming large-scale Treasury financings and also to be net pur
chasers of short-term, although not long-term, municipal
Mr. Holland observed that because bank purchases of even
the shortest-term Government securities would result in a reduced
capital asset ratio--as measured by total capital over total assets
--banks might be less willing than usual to invest in such issues.
Chairman Burns remarked that, to some modest degree,
banks might follow the alternative course of building up excess

He considered it extremely unlikely, however, that they

would accumulate excess reserves to the extent they had in the
1930's, barring a complete collapse of confidence.
Mr. Mitchell said he thought that Federal Reserve jaw
boning had had a great deal to do with bringing about the present
cautious investment policy of banks.

Some action might be needed



now if banks were to be encouraged to buy Government secu

He was not sure, however, just what form that action

might take.
Mr. Black commented that yesterday's reduction in
reserve requirements might have an important effect in that
Mr. Kimbrel remarked that recent conversations with busi
ness people in his District had tended to confirm some of the
Chairman's earlier comments.

In those conversations he found

despair over Congressional inaction and disappointment with the
Administration's shift in attitude regarding the need to fight

In his opinion, interest rates already had declined

so far as to raise questions about the sustainability of present
levels, particularly in light of the large volume of Treasury
financing that would be associated with budget deficits of the
magnitudes under discussion.

Against that background, he expected

bankers in his District to be reluctant to commit funds except
for relatively short periods.

At least two large banks in the

Sixth District already had planned advertising campaigns, to
begin in June, which focused on consumer instalment loans.


he did not know whether that represented the beginning of a trend,
he would prefer that rates not decline too sharply.

He certainly

would not want rates to be driven down to levels that would be
unsustainable and would result in a premature back up.



Mr. Eastburn noted that in the discussion thus far a
number of references had been made to the liquidity problems
of banks.

While he agreed that the situation at banks was

important, he thought it was also important to bear in mind
that the problem was not confined to banks; rather, it extended
to corporations, individuals, and State and local governments.
Thus, even if banks were now to respond in the manner desired,
the efforts of other types of economic units to restructure
their balance sheets might limit the effects on expenditures for
goods and services.
Chairman Burns said he would interpret the situation as
one in which a corrective process was needed to deal with the
serious mistakes that had been made within both the banking
system and the business community.

Banks were now recognizing

their mistakes and taking the necessary corrective measures.
As had been mentioned, there was a danger that they might go
too far in that direction, but that was still a concern for the
future; at the moment the System should not discourage their
efforts to put their houses in order.
Mr. Eastburn observed that he had not meant to advocate
such a course, and Chairman Burns remarked that he recognized
that fact.

He (the Chairman) went on to say that the needed



corrective process might well slow the economic recovery.


if a more rapid recovery were built on the unsound financial con
ditions now prevailing, the troubles that would be encountered
later--a year and a half or two years from now--might be far
more serious than the present ones.
Mr. Wallich observed that he had made some rough calcu
lations which started from the premise that at the present 7 per
cent unemployment rate real GNP was about 6 per cent below its
full employment potential.

If 4 per cent were taken as the rate of

growth in real GNP at which the unemployment rate would remain
unchanged, and if it were decided that the shortfall in real GNP
should be made up within a 3-year period, the growth rate in real
GNP over that period would be expected to average 6 per cent,
ignoring the effects of compounding.

The rate of growth in

nominal GNP would, of course, depend on the anticipated rate
of inflation;

if prices were expected to advance at a 4 per cent

rate, nominal GNP would rise by 10 per cent per year, and on the
less optimistic assumption of a 6 per cent inflation rate, the
annual increase in nominal GNP would be 12 per cent.
Such figures for nominal GNP growth, Mr. Wallich con
tinued, might be contrasted with figures derived by assuming
specific rates of increase in the income velocity of money



and in the supply of money.

One might, perhaps optimistically,

take 2 per cent per year as the rate at which velocity would
increase, given constant interest rates.

If, then, the Committee

held firmly over the 3 years to its present longer-run target
for growth in M

of 6 per cent, nominal GNP would expand at a

rate of only 8 per cent per year.

It would thus appear that

maintenance of that target for M1.growth would result in too
small a money stock

to permit the present shortfall in real

GNP to be eliminated within 3 years.

He did not mean to imply

that a higher rate of monetary growth was obviously needed;
indeed, he was not prepared to draw any.policy conclusions from
that kind of analysis at this time.

Nevertheless, he thought

the magnitudes he had mentioned were useful to keep in mind.
Mr. Morris said he was concerned about the range of the
policy alternatives presented by the staff in the blue book.


most aggressive option shown--alternative A--implied a 4-3/4 per
cent rate of growth in M1 over the year ending in June 1975--a
rate below any longer-run target agreed upon by the Committee
over the past year.

For the November to June period, the M1 growth

rate shown under that alternative was 6 per cent, as compared
with the rate of 7-1/4 per cent shown under the most aggressive
alternative in the December

blue book.

He thought he understood

the staff's reasoning; no doubt they felt that, given the latest

shortfall, the growth rate now needed to achieve the June level



implied by December's alternative A would be considered unacceptably
high by the Committee.

Nevertheless, he found the situation disturbing.

Chairman Burns noted that the Committee's choices were not
limited to the alternatives presented by the staff; the members were
free to propose any additional alternatives they desired.
Mr. Morris said he understood that the Committee had a wider
range of options than set forth in the blue book.

Nevertheless, he

thought that the nature of the alternatives presented by the staff
had some effect on the outcome of the Committee's discussion.


would hope that when shortfalls occurred in the future the longer
run targets would not be scaled down as a consequence.
Mr. Mitchell remarked that he viewed the significance of the
options presented in the current blue book in rather different terms.
As he understood it, under alternative A short-term rates would fall
sharply, and then rise as spring progressed; under B rates would fall
less, and the reversal would be delayed until perhaps early summer;
and under C rates would remain about level.
Mr. Partee said it might be helpful if he explained how the
staff proceeded in formulating the blue book alternatives.

One of

the alternatives always shown involved the maintenance of prevailing
money market conditions; in the present case, that was alternative C,
the tightest of the three.

Another alternative always shown involved

the longer-run growth rate for M
vious meeting.

adopted by the Committee at its pre

Since on this occasion that alternative called for a



rather sizable near-term decline in the Federal funds rate followed by
an upturn before the end of the 6-month projection period, the staff
thought it probably would be as liberal a policy as the Committee was
likely to consider within the range of reasonableness.


that alternative was labeled "A," and the third was formulated to fall
between the other two.
While he agreed that significant shortfalls from the targets
for the aggregates should not be ignored, Mr. Partee continued, he
might note that the Committee had a choice regarding the length of the
period over which it would seek to compensate for them.

The Committee

had lengthened that period at times in the past, in connection with
both shortfalls and overshoots.

Such a lengthening might be appropri

ate now because, in light of the most recent shortfall, a high rate
of growth would be needed in the time remaining until June to achieve
a longer-run growth rate on the order of that previously contemplated.
Mr. MacLaury remarked that he found highly relevant Mr. Partee's
comments about the possibility of lengthening the period over which
misses were to be made up.

In that connection, he noted that at times

in the past the blue book had contained a chart illustrating options
with respect to such periods.

He had found those charts to be highly

useful, and he hoped they would be included in future blue books when
ever the staff wanted to suggest an option of that kind.

Such charts,

together with textual discussion of the interest rate implications of
each of the options, would facilitate decision-making by the Committee.



Mr. Mitchell said he thought the Committee should recognize
the special nature of the policy alternatives presented at this

Some members might feel that the end of the downturn in the

real economy probably was now in sight, and others might not.


ever, they all would no doubt agree that the outlook was still highly

Of the three alternatives presented by the staff, he

would interpret the middle one as involving a posture that, in
effect, would temporize in the face of uncertainty by permitting
interest rates to drift a little lower but not drastically lower.
Chairman Burns expressed the view that the present blue
book presented a fuller and more precise analysis of the implica
tions of the policy alternatives described than any of its
In reply to a question by Mr. Coldwell, Mr. Holmes said
he thought Government securities dealers generally expected that
short-term interest rates would decline and that that probably
would tend to put downward pressure on long-term rates.

They were,

however, concerned about the magnitude of forthcoming Treasury
financings, and they expected that the Treasury would find it nec
essary to offer securities in every maturity area.


dealers were not as anxious to hold on to inventories in antici
pation of price advances as they typically had been at corresponding
stages of earlier cycles.



Chairman Burns then called for the discussion of monetary
policy and the Committee's directive.

To begin, he wanted to make

some general observations of his own.

He thought the Committee

had had a good discussion of the economic situation.

All were

aware of the deterioration that had taken place in the real economy
and of the recent performance of prices which indicated a lower
rate of inflation.

The consumer price index for December being

released this morning would show an annual rate of increase of
8.4 per cent.

The Committee was also aware of the outlook for

Governmental finances.

He thought the members should bear in

mind that strong actions bearing

on the economic situation had

already been taken by the Government and others were in the making.
The Government had acted on housing programs; legislation had been
passed that would lead to material expansion in public service
employment and in the coverage and duration of unemployment insur
ance; and a sizable tax cut was undoubtedly in the making.


also wanted to underscore the comments that had been made earlier
regarding the widespread opinion in the business and financial
community that the Federal Reserve was almost the only institution
still dedicated to the integrity of the dollar and to a return
to an approximation of price stability.



Mr. Coldwell said he thought that further easing through
open market operations and the discount rate could be held back
somewhat in light of the Board's announcement of a reduction in
reserve requirements.

He was disturbed today, as he had been

over the last few months, by the emphasis in the operational


paragraphs of the draft directives-

on monetary aggregate tar

gets that had not been performing very well.

He recommended

again that the Committee consider adopting an operational para
graph indicating that it "seeks to achieve somewhat easier bank
reserve and money market conditions, expecting a faster growth
in monetary aggregates over the months ahead."

His basic reason

for favoring that sort of approach in the past--and it was rein
forced by recent experience--was that an M1 target did not
provide very good guidance for the Manager.

Adoption of such a

target now could lead to excessive movements in the Federal funds
rate during the inter-meeting period in either the upward or the
downward direction.

It seemed to him that a steady but slow

decline in the funds rate from 7-1/8 per cent to perhaps 6-1/2
per cent could provide the stimulus needed at this time.


believed that any hesitation in fostering a further decline in
the Federal funds rate might cause an undesirable back-up in
1/ The alternative draft directives submitted by the staff for
Committee consideration are appended to this memorandum as Attach
ment B.



market interest rates; on the other hand, he was not ready for
another reduction of 150 basis points in the funds rate during
the inter-meeting period.
With that objective in mind, Mr. Coldwell continued, he
would propose specifications that would encompass wider January
February ranges for the aggregates than shown in the blue book,
including a range of 4 to 7 per cent for M1 , 7-1/2 to 9-1/2 per
cent for

, and 7 to 10 per cent for RPD's.

For the funds rate,

he would suggest an inter-meeting range of 6-1/8 to 7-1/2 per cent.
He would not mind if the funds rate range were somewhat narrower
than that; his general objective was to achieve a slow downdrift
in the rate, without significant back-ups.
Turning to the staff's draft of the general paragraphs
of the directive, Mr. Coldwell observed that the reference to
the President's energy proposals appeared to be misleading in
that there was no mention of proposed tax increases other than
excise taxes on oil products.
Following discussion of that point, Chairman Burns sug
gested that the language be amended to read

in part:


program includes new taxes in the energy area along with measures
of tax relief that, on balance, are designed to have a neutral
effect on the size of the Federal deficit."



Mr. Coldwell indicated that such a revision would meet
his point.
Mr. Morris said he wanted to compliment the Board of
Governors on its decision to reduce reserve requirements.


thought the action was highly constructive not only for its
effect as a signal but also from the standpoint of alleviating
the System's membership problem.
Mr. Morris observed that, as he had intimated in his
earlier remarks, he continued to be seriously concerned about
the course of monetary policy over the past 6 months.


country was clearly moving into the most severe recession of
the postwar period at a time when both the nation's corporations
and its banks were in the least liquid position of the postwar

that combination implied a strong possibility

To him,

that the economy would turn out to be substantially weaker than
the staff projections suggested.

He thought monetary policy

should guard against such a contingency by moving more aggres
sively now.
In particular, Mr. Morris continued, he believed that it
was essential

to keep short-term rates moving down aggressively,

for two reasons.

First, the primary imperative of monetary policy

at present was to create a set of financial conditions that would



permit a strong revival of the mortgage market.

In the absence

of such a revival, it was likely that real GNP in the second
half of the year would be much weaker than the staff had pro

Second, with corporations under substantial pressure

to restructure their balance sheets and with State and local
governments certain to be large borrowers, the bond market was
going to be under a heavy burden this year.

He was worried

about the ability of the bond market to handle the load that
would be imposed upon it by those two sectors, even apart from
the financing requirements of the Federal Government.

He was

not concerned so much about long-term rates, which he did not
expect to decline very much, as he was about the depth of the

ability to handle a large volume of securities.

In his judgment, Mr. Morris remarked, the key to assuring
the necessary absorptive capacity was a steeply upward-sloping yield

Such a curve would give portfolio managers a strong incen

tive to lengthen the maturities they held.

Greater willingness on

the part of investors to stretch out maturities and make long-term
commitments was a key to economic revival.
Mr. Morris added that he did not find any of the alterna
tive sets of specifications offered by the staff to be fully ade
quate, but if he had to choose one it would be alternative A.




could foresee political problems for the Committee later this
year if it followed the policy he had suggested.

Clearly, the

more short-term rates were reduced now, the larger would be
the increase needed later to maintain control over the monetary
aggregates in an expanding economy.

On the other hand, a reluctant

approach in reducing short-term rates now would represent a sub
optimal policy as far as the economy was concerned.

It seemed

urgent to him that steps be taken now to produce an upturn in
economic activity during the second half of the year that was
at least strong enough to permit the unemployment rate to level
off at around 8 per cent.
Like others, Mr. Morris observed, he was greatly concerned
about the prospective size of the Federal deficit.

It seemed to

him, however, that the most important thing the Committee could
do to moderate the size of the deficit would be to take steps to
assure that the recession did not become too deep or too prolonged.
The main source of the deficit, in his judgment, was the recession.
Chairman Burns said he would agree that the recession was
a significant factor in explaining the Federal deficit.

He believed,

however, that the main sources of the deficit were the built-in
expenditure increases in the Federal budget and the prospective

tax cuts.



The Chairman added that political considerations were of
virtually no importance in his own thinking.

The Federal Reserve

would be subjected to severe criticism no matter what it did.
When he had commented earlier about a possible back-up in interest
rates, he had had in mind the economic, and not the political, con

And while he had not spelled it out at the time, he

also had had in mind the effects that rapid growth in the monetary
aggregates would have on the prospects for inflation and, therefore,
on the behavior of long-term interest rates.
Mr. Black said he continued to be quite concerned about the
slow growth of M1 over the last 7 months and, like Mr. Morris, he

applauded the Board's decision to reduce reserve requirements.

thought it should be kept in mind that over the same 7-month period
the Committee had permitted the Federal funds rate to decline by
more than 650 basis points from its peak, and that key short-term
rates had fallen from about
fortunately, the

300 to nearly 500 basis points.


sharp drop in money market rates and the related

changes in money market conditions had not resulted in growth in
the monetary aggregates at the rates desired.
However, Mr. Black continued, for a number of reasons he
anticipated an acceleration in monetary growth over the months
immediately ahead, perhaps even if interest rates were not reduced




It was important to remember that the monetary aggre

gates responded with a lag to market developments.

Also, as

Mr. Axilrod had noted, banks had been following unusually con
servative policies in recent months.

Banks were likely to be

large buyers of Government securities in the period

ahead in

light of the low level to which their borrowings from the
System had fallen and of the reduction in reserve requirements
announced yesterday.

Finally, the prospective tax refund and

tax rebate checks would probably lead to at least a temporary
bulge in the money supply.
In his judgment, Mr. Black remarked, the Committee
should now temper somewhat its efforts to push down the Federal
funds rate, given the outlook for faster growth in the money
supply and the prospects for an expansive fiscal policy.


addition, he was not indifferent to the relatively rapid growth
in the broader measures of money over the past year.


Mr. Holland had suggested on a number of occasions, M2 and
M 3 might provide a better index than M

of the potential impact

on the economy of recent easing actions.
Mr. Black added that an important objective for monetary
policy was to help restore confidence.

Too much easing at this

point would lead many observers to conclude that the Federal



Reserve had given up in its fight against inflation.
he came out in favor of alternative B.


He would retain a 6-month

target of 6 per cent for M1, although he would not want to actively
resist any tendency for growth in M1 to exceed that rate over the
next several months.

The longer-run target of 8-3/4 per cent

shown for M2 under alternative B struck him as amply generous.
For the January-February period, the targets for M1 and M2 asso
ciated with alternative B seemed about right.

For the Federal

funds rate, however, an upper limit of 7-1/2 per cent seemed too
high; he would set the ceiling at 7-1/4 or perhaps even 7 per cent.
He would hold the Federal funds rate within a relatively narrow
range unless market rates fell significantly in response to the
reduction in reserve requirements.

In that event he would allow

a further reduction in the Federal funds rate

and perhaps also

give consideration to a lower discount rate.
Mr. Mayo observed that he shared Mr. Coldwell's preference
for paying a little more attention to money market conditions than
to M1 at this time.

He would not want to ignore M1, which was

widely read as a gauge of monetary policy, but he was impressed
by the uncertainties involved in the linkages relating to that

He had been persuaded by the argument that growth in

demand deposits would be stimulated as banks, which were now in
a more liquid position, became sizable buyers of Government




Indeed, he expected the effect to be stronger than

that the staff had allowed for in its projections.


he believed it would be possible to achieve the longer-run targets
of alternative A, including the 6 per cent growth rate in M1 shown
for the November-June period, if the Committee adopted the short
run ranges of tolerance for the aggregates shown under alternative B
and a range for the Federal funds rate of, say, 6 to 7-1/2 per cent,
which was close to that of B.
Mr. Mayo said his preference for a funds rate range more
like that of alternative B than A was reinforced by his concern
about the problems that would be created later if interest rates
were reduced too sharply now.

Those problems, which he viewed

as being more economic than political, related to the real danger
that the economic recovery would be inhibited if public psychology
were to be adversely affected by a large rebound in interest rates.
However, whether the Committee adopted the specifications of alter
native A or B, for the operational paragraph of the directive he
would prefer the language of alternative A, which called for "more
rapid" growth in monetary aggregates, to that of alternative B,
which called for "somewhat more rapid" growth.
Mr. MacLaury noted that a number of those around the table
were wary of relying too heavily on the monetary aggregates as



guides to policy under current circumstances.

While he appreciated

the reasons for that attitude, he was still impressed by Mr. Morris'
earlier observation that, even if alternative A were adopted today,
M1 would be expected to rise by only 4-3/4 per cent over the year
ending in June 1975.

That was a smaller rise than he would want

to see over the 12-month period.

For those who preferred to

focus on M2, he might note that under alternative A the expansion
over the year would be 7-3/4 per cent; that too, would be on
the low side under present circumstances.
Mr. MacLaury observed that he applauded the tax cut under
consideration for fiscal 1975 and he shared the misgivings about
anticipated expenditure increases in fiscal 1976.


he thought current monetary policy should be designed to exert
a stimulative impact on economic activity.

Even with the expan

sionary fiscal policy in prospect for fiscal 1976, he did not
anticipate that unemployment would fall below a 7 per cent rate
by mid-1976--some 18 months away.
Apparently, Mr. MacLaury continued, the main reason some
Committee members were not ready to adopt a policy that would
assure moderate growth in the aggregates--indexed by a 6 per cent
growth rate in M,--was the fear that the Committee would not be

would not be prepared--to let interest rates turn back



up once expansion in economic activity began.

He believed

that reasons could be found for that fear, even in the Committee's
own past history.

Nevertheless, it would be unfortunate

if the

Committee was not prepared today to permit much decline in
interest rates, if that was needed to get the monetary aggre
gates growing at moderate rates.

He thought that Chairman

Burns' point was well taken that an unduly easy policy could lead
to high long-term rates by fostering inflationary expectations,

and he believed the Committee had not taken adequate account of
that consideration at times in the past.

But if the Federal

Reserve wanted to maintain its reputation as the last bastion
against inflation, the time to demonstrate its resolve was not
now but later, when it became necessary to permit interest rates
to rise again.
Accordingly, Mr. MacLaury remarked, he favored alter
native A.

However, he thought it would be appropriate to raise

both limits of the funds rate constraint by a quarter of a point.
The range then would be 5-1/2 to 7 per cent, and the midpoint
6-1/4 per cent.
Mr. Balles said he agreed that the Federal Reserve would
be subjected to criticism at this point regardless of the policies
it pursued.

Nevertheless, he thought the System could not be



completely immune to recent criticisms, from Congressmen and others,
that it was making the recession deeper and longer than necessary.
In an era of management by objectives, the System's performance
would be judged by the observable results.

Unfortunately, growth

rates in the monetary aggregates had been low for a rather extended
period--since about mid-1974--and market observers were assuming that
that outcome had been intended.

Certainly, it was not very easy

to explain away persistent low growth rates as misses from intended
Mr. Balles went on to note that the staff's projection of
an economic recovery in the second half of 1975 was based on an
assumption that M1

would grow at a 6 per cent rate.

Even on that

basis, he suspected that any errors in the projection would be
in the direction of optimism.

In his judgment, it was now impera

tive to get the aggregates back on the path which the Committee
had been trying to achieve for some time.

He did not think the

alternative A scenario for the longer-run targets--implying growth
of only 4-3/4 and 7-3/4 per cent for M 1 and M2 in the 12 months
ending in June--would be viewed as an inflationary monetary policy
under present conditions.

In short, he did not see any inconsis

tency between a long-term commitment to fight inflation and a short
term commitment to revive growth in the monetary aggregates.



Mr. Balles added that the failure of the monetary aggre
gates to meet the target paths desired by the Committee over any
period of 6 months or longer had to be explained mainly by either
excessive or deficient growth of bank reserves.

In retrospect,

it was clear that growth in bank reserves since mid-year had been
inadequate to meet the Committee's objectives for the aggregates.
The policy issue was now rather clearly joined between those
who wanted to place primary emphasis on interest rates and
money market conditions, and those, including himself, who were
concerned about returning the aggregates to the Committee's
target path.

As he looked back over the past 24 to 30 months,

he concluded that the flexibility of monetary policy had been
rather seriously limited by the Federal funds rate constraints
which the Committee had imposed.
Therefore, Mr. Balles continued, he favored alternative A,
which would provide the monetary stimulus in the short run that
was needed to achieve the sort of economic recovery envisioned
in the staff's projection.

The Committee might be facing some

severe problems later in holding down the growth of the monetary
aggregates as the Treasury undertook to meet its large financing
needs in the market.

But for the near term he thought it was

highly important to get the aggregates moving up again, in line
with the Committee's targets.



Mr. Debs said his prescription for policy was very close
to that of Mr. Mayo.

It could be argued that the present longer

run targets of 6 per cent for M1 and 9 per cent for M2 should be
raised, because the economic outlook had weakened considerably
since the last meeting and because there now were more definite
signs that inflation was beginning to come under control.


thought, however, that there were very strong reasons for retain
ing the present targets.

First, as had been noted earlier, fiscal

stimulus was clearly in prospect,and it was also clear that the
stimulus would probably be much greater than the President was

Second, the possible size of the Federal deficits could

make it much more difficult to avoid an unwanted monetary accelera
tion later in the year, just when the economy might be starting to

Such a development would be most unfortunate, since the

inflation problem was still far from being resolved.


if the Committee were to try to make up for the shortfalls in
the long-term aggregates, it would be necessary to continue or
even to accelerate the sharp decline in interest rates that had
occurred in the past several months.

He would not want to con

tinue a rapid rate of decline without having a much better idea
of its probable impact on the aggregates and on the economy in

It was clear that much more study needed to be done



on the linkages associated with the various measures of money.
And finally, monetary policy could not ignore the foreign
exchange markets, which had been extremely sensitive to the
decline in interest rates in this country over the past few

That was another strong reason for moving rather

Accordingly, Mr. Debs said, he would prefer to stay
with the long-term targets adopted at the last meeting, which
were associated with alternative A. However, he would not want
to see a range for the Federal funds rate as low as the 5-1/4 to
6-3/4 per cent range shown under that alternative.

Like Mr. Mayo,

he was not convinced that such a low Federal funds rate was
needed to achieve the longer-term aggregates targets of A.
His preference for the funds rate would be a range of about
6-1/2 to 7-1/4 per cent--a narrow range that would be suitable
at this time--but he could also accept the broader range of 6-1/4
to 7-1/2 per cent shown under alternative B. In any case, he
thought it would be desirable to have the Manager probe below
the present funds rate level rather cautiously, moving more
decisively if the aggregates continued on the weak side.
As for the short-term tolerance ranges for the aggregates,
Mr. Debs continued, given the figures now coming in for January,



he believed the Committee would have to accept relatively low
growth in the January-February averages.

He could go along with

the alternative B range of 3-1/2 to 5-1/2 per cent for M --implying
a sharp pickup in the growth rate for February--but like Mr. Coldwell
he would prefer a wider range--perhaps 4 to 7 per cent.

As for M2,

the alternative B range of 7 to 9 per cent was acceptable, but
again, he would prefer a higher upper limit--something like 10 per

As for the wording of the directive, he shared Mr. Mayo's

preference for the language of alternative A.
Chairman Burns observed that in recent weeks he had been
involved in some very sensitive discussions relating to the inter
national political position of the United States.

On the basis

of that experience he could say with some confidence that the
exchange rate of the dollar was being watched very closely at
this critical time by heads of governments, finance ministers,
and foreign ministers around the world.

Every weakening of the

dollar in the foreign exchange markets did something to reduce
the strength of the country's international political position.
He believed that the Committee, in reaching a decision on




today, should keep in mind to at least a minor degree the
performance of the dollar in foreign exchange markets.
Mr. Francis said he thought that the current slowdown
in economic activity, which appeared to have started at the end
of the first quarter of 1973, differed considerably from previous

As he had indicated at the previous meeting, it

seemed to him that the slowdown was initially brought on by capacity
limitations, since he was not aware of any prior economic stabi
lization moves that would have exerted a retarding effect on

Supply factors seemed to have had an adverse impact on

economic activity in subsequent quarters, including supply con
straints related to the oil situation, new environmental and safety
regulations, shifting demands due to changing exchange rates, and
wage and price controls.

By the fourth quarter of 1974, slower

growth of demand probably added to capacity and supply constraints
in worsening the recession.

His view of the role of stabilization

policy was based on the fact that the money stock had expanded at a
rate of about 8 per cent for a considerable period prior to mid-1973.
Monetary expansion then moderated somewhat to a range centering
around 6 to 7 per cent until mid-1974.

In the second half of

last year, however, the expansion in M 1 fell to a rate of about
3-1/2 per cent on a quarterly average basis.



In his judgment, Mr. Francis continued, the decline in
The rate of

real GNP was now probably at or close to the bottom.

inflation in 1974 was about double that indicated by past stabi
lization policy as a result of special factors that had to work
their way through the economy.

That process seemed to be near

completion; there already was evidence that the reported rate
of inflation was declining, and he hoped shortly to see the
rate of price advance slow to about 6 or 7 per cent.

It was

important that that decline not be interpreted as indicating
that the inflation had been whipped and that it was therefore
safe for policy makers to pour fuel on the coals; an underlying
inflation problem would still remain.
Mr. Francis added that since the fiscal policy
outlook suggested very large deficits over the next 18 to
24 months, he could envisage two possible scenarios


policy. First, the Committee could monetize a large portion
of those deficits, as had happened on occasion in the past.
Such a policy might help to delay the rise in interest
rates that was likely to occur, but he thought the eventual
outcome would be much higher interest rates than other
wise, and more severe pressures than he would like to see on
financial institutions.

The other course would be to start now



to provide the reserves that the economy needed over time to move
it along.

He did not agree with the view that it would be desirable

to make a heavy injection of reserves in the short run in the
expectation of backing off somewhere down the road.

He would prefer

to move immediately to a rate of growth in M1 of about 5 or 5-1/4
per cent, as contemplated under alternative C.

Such a policy might

not have as rapid an impact on real product as a more aggressive
policy, but he was confident that over the longer term a recovery
would be achieved with less disturbance to the financial sector
and with a lower rate of inflation than had been experienced for
some time.

The alternative C specifications seemed to fit his

policy views very well.
Mr. Eastburn said that, after considering the three kinds
of trade-offs the Committee now appeared to be facing, he had
concluded that it should move vigorously toward getting the
aggregates back on track.

The first trade-off was the chronic

one of inflation versus unemployment.

Of the two, it seemed to

him that unemployment had become the more important problem.


did not mean to imply that the fight against inflation could be
abandoned, but he believed the rate of inflation over the next
few months might well be surprisingly favorable.



The second trade-off had to do with fiscal and monetary
policy, Mr. Eastburn continued.

It was clear that a stimulative

fiscal policy was in prospect, but the staff analysis made at
the Philadelphia Bank--and at the Board also, as he understood
it--suggested that the impact of the fiscal package proposed by
the President would be relatively small and relatively short-lived.
There was the possibility, of course, that more--perhaps substantially
more--fiscal stimulus would be provided, and the situation would
have to be watched carefully.

As matters now stood, however, he

thought it would be unwise to proceed on the assumption that fiscal
policy should fight recession and that monetary policy should fight
inflation; the two should be working together.
The third trade-off related to the issue of supplying funds
now against supplying funds later, Mr. Eastburn observed.


recent meetings he had been concerned about the possibility that
unduly marked easing might create problems later in the form of
overshoots in the monetary aggregates and related increases in
interest rates.

However, the aggregates had been lagging so far

behind the Committee's targets that vigorous action was needed
if they were to catch up.

He did not see any real risk of fostering

inflationary pressures through such a policy.

While he did see a

problem associated with rising interest rates later, rates were



likely to rise almost regardless of what the Committee did and
so that problem would have to be confronted in some degree in
any event.

He was impressed by Chairman Burns' observations

about the attention being paid to the dollar in the foreign
exchange markets and he agreed that the international implications
of the System's actions could not be ignored.

However, he be

lieved that failure to bring the economy out of recession could
have even greater implications internationally than the performance
of the dollar in the exchange markets.
Mr. Eastburn observed that such considerations led him to
favor alternative A.

He would permit the Federal funds rate to

drop substantially in order to get the expansion needed in the
monetary aggregates.

He would also raise the upper limits of the

January-February ranges for the aggregates shown under alter
native A to permit more rapid growth in M1 and M2, should that

He had in mind a range of something like 4 to 8 per

cent for M1 and a parallel increase for M2 .

If the Committee

adopted that course, he thought the policy record prepared for
this meeting should reflect the Committee's conscious recognition
that it might be necessary for interest rates to rise later.
In response to Chairman Burns' request for his policy
recommendation, Mr. Partee noted that he had been a strong



advocate of faster growth in the monetary aggregates for several
months, and he had believed that the Committee should be prepared
to reduce interest rates in order to keep the aggregates expanding
at the desired pace.

He continued to hold that view.

For a number of reasons, Mr. Partee continued, he would
not exclude M1 from among the aggregates that should concern the

First, it was the principal vehicle for transactions.

Second, it served as a proxy for a whole range of money market
conditions that were important to the performance of the economy.
And third, he was not convinced that as yet its relative position
had deteriorated as badly as some had suggested.
Mr. Partee added that he agreed with Mr. Morris' view that
lower short-term interest rates would improve conditions in both
the mortgage market--and thus in the housing industry--and the
bond market.

Portfolio managers were well aware that when short

term rates were low relative to longer-term rates, investment in
short-term assets involved a sacrifice of current income.


the more the yield curve sloped upward, the greater their incentive
to lengthen maturities.
Both in that connection and with respect to the aggregates,
Mr. Partee continued, he thought the main question facing the Com
mittee was one of degree--how fast and how far to move.

In the



case of aggregates, he felt it would be unreasonable to attempt
to make up for a large and sustained shortfall in a relatively
short period of time.

He would find it reasonable to achieve

the Committee's longer-run 6 per cent growth target for M1 by
tolerating some shortfall from that rate over the next few months
and compensating with some overshoot later on in the year.


regard to interest rates, too, he believed that moderation and
continuity in movement were important.

Accordingly, he would not

want to see the Federal funds rate and the associated family of
short-term rates drop sharply now, after a period of several
months in which the Committee had carefully fostered declines
at a moderate pace.

He would recommend, therefore, that for

the time being the Committee accept targets in the vicinity of
those associated with alternative B.

He would continue to seek

lower interest rates, and because he regarded the performance
of the aggregates in December and January largely as an aberration,
he would not give up hope of a rebound before too long.
Mr. Kimbrel indicated that his own views were quite similar
to Mr. Partee's.

He viewed the reduction in reserve requirements

announced yesterday as desirable and in keeping with a policy of
gradual easing designed to contribute to the growth of the aggre
gates and to economic recovery.

In his opinion, the fiscal policy



actions already taken or being contemplated by the Administration
and by the Congress could be characterized as abundantly stimulative;
in fact, if they continued to be implemented over an extended period,
he would be concerned that they might contribute to even greater

He remained disturbed about inflation as a longer

run problem.
Mr. Kimbrel added that he did not think monetary policy
actions could provide any major stimulus to the economy in the
immediate future, given the lagged effects of such actions.


would prefer to continue the recent pattern of moving slowly but
steadily to a more accommodative posture.

He hoped that the Com

mittee would not be found guilty in retrospect of having over-reacted
to events of the moment and of having diverted its attention from
the long-term goal of stability.
In keeping with those views, Mr. Kimbrel observed, he favored
the specifications associated with alternative B, including longer
run targets for the aggregates characterized by growth in M1 at a
rate in the 6 per cent area.

A substantial decline in interest

rates at this time would not be consistent with his desire to move
gradually, and he hoped that the Federal funds rate could be main
tained within a range of 6-1/4 to 7-1/4 per cent.



Mr. Wallich remarked that, as he had suggested earlier, a
long period of time--indeed, several years--might be required
before the economy returned to full employment if the Committee
were to maintain a 6 per cent rate of growth in M1 or some cor
responding rate of expansion in M2 .

While such a course would

have the highly desirable result of wringing most of the inflation
out of the economy, he doubted that the Committee could adhere to
such a policy for that long.

One might conclude in the abstract

that the Committee should try to move quickly to a higher growth
path for the money supply and then stabilize growth at the higher

The Committee had resisted that course because a sharp

acceleration in the expansion in money might be taken as a signal
that it had given up the fight against inflation.

He had been

among those who were concerned about that risk and he would
still hesitate to give such a signal.

Moreover, he would not

want to avoid the issue by shifting from a monetary growth target
to an interest rate target.

The relatively low growth of the

money supply was evidence that the System had persisted in its
anti-inflationary efforts, and a shift to interest rate targets
under present circumstances might be viewed as an effort to gloss
over the failure to achieve the moderate growth rates desired.



Mr. Wallich remarked that his desire to avoid a dramatic
move was reinforced by the expansionary posture of fiscal policy
and by the programs that had been adopted to assist housing and
the unemployed.

There was also the fact that the dollar had

declined quite a bit in the foreign exchange markets; while he
had not considered that a major tragedy, he did share Chairman
Burns' view that at some point further weakness in the dollar
would have an adverse impact on the nation's international
In sum, Mr. Wallich observed, while he was inclined toward
specifications along the lines of those shown under alternative A,
he would not want at this point to lower the Federal funds rate
aggressively in order to stimulate growth in the aggregates.


some shading of the alternative A specifications toward those of
B would be satisfactory to him.
Mr. Bucher said he agreed with most of the statements made
thus far, although not necessarily with all of the conclusions

In contrast to the past, when he had often been certain

about his own policy preferences, he felt quite uncertain today.
Indeed, he found the policy decision today to be one of the most
difficult he had encountered in his term of service.



On balance, Mr. Bucher remarked, he favored continuing
the policy of gradual movement the Committee had been following
in recent months.

One of the primary considerations leading him

to that conclusion related to the observations by Chairman Burns
and others on the subject of public confidence and the role of the
Federal Reserve in that connection.

There were numerous indications

of serious erosion of confidence in the nation's institutions,
governmental and private, and in the nation's currency, both domes
tically and internationally.

He placed a great deal of importance

on the way in which people perceived things and on the consequences
that flowed from those perceptions.

Consequently, he thought the

Committee had to remain aware of the confidence factor and of its

implications for what it was trying to accomplish.

His specific preference, Mr. Bucher continued, was a
posture somewhere between alternatives A and B.

He would like

to see the Federal funds rate decline gradually over the next 4
weeks from its present level to around 6-1/2 per cent, and he
would continue to be patient about a return of M1 to a 6 per
cent growth path.

He believed that all of the benefits that some

Committee members wanted to obtain through a sharp drop in interest
rates would eventually be achieved under a more gradual approach.
The results would come more slowly, but with less danger of adversely



affecting longer-term objectives.

There had already been improve

ment in flows of funds to thrift institutions, and he foresaw
continuing improvement in the bond markets.

Patience now would

reduce the chances that policy would have to be reversed sooner
than would otherwise be desirable.

In particular, he did not want

to see a turnaround in interest rates next fall when he hoped
housing would be recovering, nor a reversal of the recent grati
fying price developments.
Mr. Holland said Mr. Partee's views were closer to his
own than any others he had heard today.

The present interval

was a highly troublesome one for policy-making, partly because
it was particularly important at this juncture to keep both
short-run and long-run objectives in mind, and some of those
objectives were in conflict.

While the Committee had to deal

with a recession, it could not go all out in providing monetary
stimulus because of the risks of fostering further inflation.
Although the episode of double-digit inflation appeared to have
passed, at least for a time, the Committee still had to seek a
gradual cooling of inflation over the longer run while it sought
a decent recovery in economic activity.
Given the unfolding shape of fiscal policy, Mr. Holland
continued, he thought the generation of an upturn in economic



activity would rapidly decline in importance as an objective
of monetary policy.

Indeed, he believed an upturn no longer

depended much on monetary policy, so long as that policy was
not unreasonable.

Rather, the Committee's decisions would

increasingly affect the strength and duration of the recovery,
and its health in terms of the real and price dimensions of
increases in nominal GNP.
In his judgment, Mr. Holland observed, that pointed
to the desirability of assuring reasonable rates of growth in
the monetary aggregates from now until mid-year.

Views would

differ, of course, on what growth rates were "reasonable" and
a not unimportant consideration was the nature of public per
ceptions of particular growth rates.

However, the most important

considerations related to the economic effects of the growth
rates achieved, especially in M2 and M3 .

He thought the growth

rates in those aggregates between now and mid-year should be in
the area just below the two-digit level.

The performance of

M2 and M 3 was crucial because it would reflect the stock adjust
ment in the positions of depository institutions that was needed
to encourage what might be called more stabilizing lending policiesthat is, lending policies more liberal than at present but not so
aggressive as to create problems later during the recovery.



Mr. Holland said he agreed that a change in the attitudes
of bankers was needed.

Also, as Mr. Morris had emphasized, an

upward sloping yield curve was required; indeed, the curve already
had a substantial positive slope.

However, it had to be borne

in mind that in the short run, lending and investing activity in
general and the deposit-creating activities of banks in particular
were a product of attitudes that were conditioned by many forces,
among which the supply of reserves was only one.

In terms of the

System's near-term tactics, therefore, it would be desirable to
try to influence attitudes through a range of monetary policy
devices rather than by simply flooding the economy with money and
liquid assets.

The latter approach might well produce the yield

curve and the turnaround in bankers' attitudes that were needed,
but there would be a price to pay later in the form of increased
difficulty in implementing the policy of restraint that might be
required when reasonably full resource employment was achieved.
In sum, he believed that such actions as the reduction in reserve
requirements announced yesterday and perhaps some further adjust
ments in the discount rate had the potential for achieving some
of the attitudinal changes he had in mind with less need to
supply reserves than if the open market approach were followed
in isolation.



In terms of a particular policy prescription, Mr. Holland
said he favored moving slowly on the open market side for a few
weeks to see if attitudes were in fact changing as a result of
the reserve requirement and discount rate actions.

He would

not want to wait long, perhaps not even until the next meeting
of the Committee, before evaluating the progress being made.
The aggregate growth rates shown under alternative B were
acceptable to him.

For the Federal funds rate he would set a

floor of 6-1/4 per cent, or even 6-1/2 per cent, and an upper
limit of 7-1/4 per cent.

He did not want any backup in the

Federal funds rate; that would be counter-productive by
any standard.

If after some experience that range for the

Federal funds rate did not prove to be consistent with the
desired growth in the aggregates, he would be prepared to adopt
a more aggressive policy.
Turning to the language of the directive, Mr. Holland
said he found acceptable the amendments suggested by the staff
this morning

to take account of yesterday's action on reserve


In the paragraph which set forth the Committee's

general policy objectives, he would suggest changing the order
of the clauses to refer first to the System's anti-recessionary
1/ A copy of the staff note on these changes is appended as
Attachment C.



objective and then to its continuing objectives of resisting
inflation and achieving equilibrium in the balance of payments.
He thought that order would be more in keeping with the Commit
tee's current policy emphasis.

With regard to the operational

paragraph, he would prefer to call for "more vigorous growth"
in the aggregates rather than for either "more rapid" or "some
what more rapid" growth.
Mr. Sheehan observed that, according to a news story
published today, a number of monetarist economists were applauding
the Federal Reserve for its recent conduct of monetary policy.
However, the monetarists evidently had widely varying views re
garding the proper growth rate for M , ranging from 3 to 8 per
More generally, Mr. Sheehan continued, he was struck by
the wide differences among eminent economists regarding the appro
priate course for monetary policy under present circumstances.
While that no doubt reflected the difficulty of the times, it
seemed to him that the facts and their implications were relatively

If one examined the data assembled in the blue

book, it was clear that over the last 6 months the monetary aggre
gates had grown at rates far short of the Committee's targets.
For example, in the last half of 1974 M1 grew at a rate of 2.8 per



cent, compared with the Committee's target of 5-1/4 per cent.
While it was true that the shortfall followed an overshoot
in the first half of the year, it was still hard to understand,
especially in light of the sharp decline in the Federal funds
rate since July.
Mr. Sheehan noted that the Committee was on record as
favoring an eclectic approach, in which it did not focus exclusively
either on the monetary aggregates or on interest rates and money
market conditions, but rather gave some weight to both.


performance of credit markets in recent months had been relatively
sound, but the behavior of the aggregates viewed in isolation
had been rather dismal.

He believed that the System was highly

vulnerable to criticism on that score.

Since System spokesmen

had indicated in Congressional testimony that it was possible to
control the growth rates of the monetary aggregates over periods
of 6 to 9 months, it would be particularly difficult to explain
The problem would

the shortfall over the second half of 1974.

be compounded by the discouragingly weak behavior of the aggre
gates unfolding for January, and perhaps also by shortfalls for
subsequent months in line with the tendency to undershoot mone
tary targets in periods of economic weakness.
In his judgment, Mr. Sheehan remarked, the Committee
should continue to be eclectic and give weight to all relevant




To him, that would call for strong efforts now to

stimulate growth in the aggregates, including larger injections
of reserves and a rather significant further reduction in short
term interest rates, if those were the requirements for faster

He did not believe it would be necessary to flood the

banking system with reserves in order to accomplish the objective.
He favored the specifications of alternative A, and he would be
prepared to accept specifications involving even greater easing
if needed.
Mr. Winn said he had wondered while listening to the dis
cussion today whether the Committee's perspective might not be
distorted somewhat by the fact that it met at monthly intervals.
In particular, he wondered what ranges of tolerance the Committee
might adopt now if it did not plan to meet again for 6 months.
In the present environment, Mr. Winn continued, it might
be unrealistic to expect M 1 to move onto a 6 per cent growth path
by the time of the February meeting even if the

Federal funds

rate were to be lowered to 5-1/4 per cent, the bottom of the
range associated with alternative A.

Perhaps more attention

should be given to the leads and lags that were involved and to
the possibility that the recent shortfall was due in part
to temporary factors.

In the latter connection, the reserves



supplied during November and December might have been offset in
part by the rise of currency in circulation, by "as of" adjustments,
and by other technical factors.

Those factors could well be self

correcting in ways the Committee did not now foresee because of
its focus on the short-run relationship between the Federal funds
rate and the monetary aggregates.
Mr. Winn added that it might be helpful to make public
an analysis of monetary prospects for the longer run, along the
lines of the discussion

in the blue book.

Wider circulation of

such material could contribute to the sort of change in attitudes
that Mr. Holland had described, by encouraging people to act sooner
in making financial commitments and in restructuring their balance

That would eliminate the need for such actions at a time

when interest rates were rising and would thus reduce the problems
the Committee would face when actions were needed to restrain
excessive growth in the aggregates.
In sum, Mr. Winn observed, he would urge that the Com
mittee employ a somewhat longer perspective, not only for specify
ing objectives but also for evaluating performance.

It might

well be that not enough time had passed to assess the results of
the considerable easing in money market conditions that had occurred
over the course of recent months; indeed, what was now happening



to the aggregates might well be reflecting in part the Federal
funds rates of several months ago.

He was in sympathy with the

opinion of Messrs. Coldwell and Mayo that the Committee should
continue on its easing course but not act precipitously.
Mr. Clay said he had listened with great interest this
morning to the discussion concerning the recently abnormal
behavior of the monetary aggregates.

He was a little surprised

at the apparent surprise of others about the recent difficulties
in controlling the aggregates and in understanding their behavior.
Because the times themselves were abnormal, one should expect
people to behave abnormally and statistics to follow abnormal
Recently, Mr. Clay continued, public psychology had
shifted rapidly through three phases, from an inflationary
psychology to one characteristic of an inflationary recession
and then to a recession psychology.

He thought the economy

needed more stimulus than it had been getting, and accordingly
he had been delighted by the reduction in reserve requirements
announced yesterday.

The shortfall of the monetary aggregates

from the Committee's targets was unfortunate.

In an effort to

bring the aggregates back on track,he would favor seeking the
growth rates shown under alternative B, with a funds rate con
straint of 5-3/4 to 7-1/4 per cent.



Mr. Clay added that he thought it might be a good idea
under present circumstances for the Chairman, or perhaps some
other System official, to announce publicly that the Committee
was aiming for a growth rate in the money supply of 6 per centor whatever rate the Committee decided upon--over the first half
of the year.

Normally, he would not advocate that procedure.

At the moment, however, he believed such an announcement would
have beneficial effects on the psychology of businessmen and others,
and would increase the chances that the objectives of policy would
be achieved.
Mr. Baughman remarked that, like others, he regretted that
the growth rate of the money stock had not been closer to the rate
the Committee had sought.

Generally speaking, however, he thought

it would not be desirable for the Committee to attempt to compensate
for past shortfalls; rather, it should start from whatever level
of the money stock was prevailing and aim at achieving the appro
priate rate of growth from that point on.

He also thought experience

had demonstrated that the monetary aggregates were better guides
to policy than interest rates,and he saw no particular reason for
deviating from such targets at present.

A number of speakers today

had referred to the problems that would arise in the future at
the time when interest rates began to increase.

In his judgment,



criticisms of the Federal

Reserve and pressures on it were

inevitable at such times.

The best course would be to accept

that as a fact of life and consider how best to cope with the
problem when it arose, rather than to search for means of
avoiding it.
With respect to current policy, Mr. Baughman said that
both the language and the specifications of alternative B appeared
appropriate to him.

He was interested in Mr. Holland's suggestion

that the System seek to accomplish its near-term objectives by
using a range of tools, including reserve requirements and dis
count rates, rather than by relying mainly on open market opera

He wondered whether it might not be possible to work

through some other avenues also, such as discount window adminis
tration and the classification of assets in bank examinations.
Mr. Mitchell observed that, unlike Mr. Bucher, he dis
agreed with a large proportion of the statements that had been
made today.

As was usually the case, however, he did agree with

some of the things he had heard.

In particular, he thought

Messrs. Coldwell and Holland had described their policy preferences
in about the same terms as he would.

In his judgment, the policy

actions taken since the last meeting of the Committee, including
the reductions in both the discount rate and reserve requirements



as well as open market operations, added up to a fairly sub
stantial dose.

He did not think the System should rest on its

oars at this point; rather, like Mr. Coldwell, he would like to
see a continued gradual decline in the Federal funds rate over
the period until the next meeting.
With reference to the comments by Messrs. Morris and
Partee about the need to give portfolio managers an incentive to
lengthen their maturities, Mr. Mitchell continued, he personally
was not sure just how much of an incentive was required.


pushing hard on them, however, he would be inclined to give them
a little time to absorb the implications of the present upward
slope of the yield curve.

He suspected that the savings and

loan associations would be stimulated into action by the size of
the inflows they were currently experiencing.
Finally, Mr. Mitchell observed, he was worried that the
Committee would let the behavior of M
in the Federal funds rate.

trigger a sharp reduction

He shared Mr. Coldwell's lack of

confidence in M1 at this juncture; indeed, he had no confidence
at all in M

as a short-term indicator at present.

If he were

to focus on any aggregate, it would be the bank credit proxy.
In that connection, he was disturbed to see that the highest
growth rate for the proxy the staff anticipated for the first



half of 1975 under any of the blue book alternatives was only 7
per cent.

Following the 4 per cent growth rate of the fourth

quarter, that did not strike him as high enough.

He thought

the banking system should play a more active role than it had in
the past 3 or 4 months; otherwise, much of its function might well
be taken over by the commercial paper market.

He expected the

credit proxy to grow faster than the staff had indicated, primarily
through expansion of time deposits.

Since reserves were used

more efficiently in supporting time deposit than demand deposit
growth, he thought there were ample reserves for the purpose.
In sum, Mr. Mitchell said, he hoped the Committee would
cling closely to a Federal funds rate target in the coming period
and not be diverted from the pursuit of a slow decline in that
rate by the behavior of M 1 .
Chairman Burns remarked that he had already conveyed his
general views on policy and would make only a brief comment at
this point on the subject of portfolio management.

In his judg

ment, the analysis of that complex subject made around the table
today was far from complete.

It was true, of course, that if

short-term rates dropped sharply,portfolio managers would begin
thinking about moving into intermediate-term and long-term
maturities, and forces would be released tending to make



for lower longer-term rates.

It was necessary, however, to

consider additional questions--namely, the implications of
a sharp decline in short-term rates for the pace of monetary
growth, and the implications of a combination of sharply
lower short-term rates and rapid growth in the money supply
for the attitudes of both investors and borrowers.

It was

his judgment--and one which he thought was confirmed by
econometric calculations--that under those circumstances
renewed fear of inflation would be kindled and forces would
be released that would nullify the normal response of long-term
rates to a decline in short-term rates.

He would expect long

term rates to move sharply higher and thereby frustrate the
prospects of recovery sketched out by the staff and by other

Even assuming a much smaller degree of fiscal stimulus

than now seemed clearly in the making, the Board's econometric
model indicated that the responses in the long-term markets would
be sharp.

That very real possibility had not been adequately

considered in today's discussion.
The Chairman then said it appeared from the discussion
that a majority of the Committee members favored specifications
in the neighborhood of those shown under alternative B.


considering the specifications in detail it might be useful to



dispose of a number of questions relating to the directive.
He asked first whether there were any objections to the revisions
in its earlier draft that the staff had suggested today to take
account of the reserve requirement action, or to the revision
in the statement in the draft concerning the President's energy
program that he had proposed following Mr. Coldwell's statement.
No objections to the revisions in question were
The Chairman then referred to Mr. Coldwell's suggestion
that the operational paragraph focus primarily on money market
conditions rather than, as in the staff's drafts, on the mone
tary aggregates, and he asked for the members' reactions.
Six of the members noted that they would find a money
market emphasis acceptable, but a substantial majority indicated
that they preferred language along the lines of the staff's drafts.
Chairman Burns remarked that the choice among the staff's
alternatives for the operational paragraph seemed to lie between
A and B, which differed only in the addition of the word "somewhat"
in B to qualify the phrase "more rapid growth in monetary aggre

With respect to the same phrase, Mr. Holland had suggested

replacing "rapid" with "vigorous."

He asked about the members'



A majority indicated that they preferred to omit the
word "somewhat," and to use "rapid" rather than "vigorous."
Mr. Holland observed that he had also suggested reversing
the order of the clauses in the statement of the Committee's
general policy stance.

He thought it would be consistent with

the discussion today to refer to the objective of cushioning
recessionary tendencies and stimulating recovery before mentioning
that of resisting inflationary pressures.
In response to the Chairman's request for views, a majority
of the members indicated that they preferred the order in the
staff's draft.
Turning to the specifications, Chairman Burns said he
would suggest for Committee consideration the longer-run growth
rates for the monetary aggregates shown under alternative B,
and the 2-month ranges of tolerance of B, except that the upper
limit of the range for each aggregate would be increased by 1
percentage point.
After discussion, the Committee agreed that those growth
rates were acceptable.
With respect to the inter-meeting range for the Federal
funds rate, the Chairman said it should be recognized that, in
view of the behavior of the financial markets, whatever lower



limit was set by the Committee was likely to be reached
during the inter-meeting period.

Since the average rate

in the last statement week was about 7-1/4 per cent, to set a
lower limit of, say, 6 per cent would in effect be to say that
a decline of 1-1/4 points over the next 4 weeks was acceptable.
He would much prefer to adopt a range today of 6-1/2 to 7-1/2
per cent, on the usual understanding that, depending on develop
ments, some adjustment might be made during the inter-meeting
In response to a question by the Chairman, a majority
of the members indicated that they would prefer a lower limit
of 6-1/2 per cent for the funds rate constraint to one of 6-1/4
per cent.
Mr. Holland remarked that he was disturbed by the proposal
to set the upper limit for the funds rate at 7-1/2 per cent, since
he would not want to see the rate rise during the coming 4 weeks.
Chairman Burns said it was his personal view that 7-1/4
per cent should be considered the effective ceiling in the absence
of further consultation.

He had suggested setting the upper limit

at 7-1/2 per cent with the thought that special circumstances
might arise under which the Committee would decide that a higher
rate was justified.

If the Committee preferred to set the upper



limit at 7-1/4 per cent today, it could, of course, raise that
limit in the event the need arose during the inter-meeting period.
A majority of the members indicated that they would prefer
a 7-1/4 per cent upper limit for the funds rate.
Mr. Sheehan observed that in the earlier discussion of
policy, those Committee members who had not favored the alter
native B specifications had tended to lean toward those of A;
there had been little sentiment expressed in favor of the C

Accordingly, he was rather surprised to find

that a majority was willing to accept a funds rate range
with a lower limit of 6-1/2 per cent, which was half-way between
the lower limits of the B and C ranges shown in the blue book.
Chairman Burns noted that the mid-point of the range the
majority appeared to favor was 6-3/4 per cent, the same as the
midpoint of the 6-1/4 to 7-1/2 per cent range shown under alter
native B in the blue book.

If, as he thought likely, the funds

rate should decline to the lower limit during the next 4 weeks, it
would have fallen by 3/4 of 1 per cent.

And, of course, the Com

mittee might find it desirable to reduce the lower limit during
the inter-meeting period.
The Chairman then proposed that the Committee vote on a
directive consisting of the staff's draft

of the general paragraphs



and alternative A for the operational paragraph, with the changes
agreed upon earlier to clarify the statement regarding the President's
energy program and to take account of yesterday's reserve require
ment action.

It would be understood that the directive would be

interpreted in accordance with the following specifications.

longer-run targets--namely, the annual rates of growth for the
period from December 1974 to June 1975--would be 6, 8-3/4, and
6-3/4 per cent for M1, M2, and the bank credit proxy, respectively.
The associated ranges of tolerance for growth rates in the January
February period would be 6-1/4 to 9-1/4 per cent for RPD's, 3-1/2
to 6-1/2 per cent for M1, and 7 to 10 per cent for M2.

The range

of tolerance for the weekly average Federal funds rate in the
inter-meeting period would be 6-1/2 to 7-1/4 per cent.
Mr. Sheehan said that, while he planned to vote for the
proposed directive, he would do so reluctantly.
By unanimous vote, the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York was autho
rized and directed, until otherwise
directed by the Committee, to execute
transactions for the System Account
in accordance with the following
domestic policy directive:



The information reviewed at this meeting suggests
that real output of goods and services fell sharply
in the fourth quarter of 1974 and that further declines
are in prospect for the months immediately ahead. In
December declines in industrial production and employ
ment again were sharp and widespread, and the unemploy
ment rate increased from 6.5 to 7.1 per cent. Average
wholesale prices of industrial commodities were un
changed, after having risen much less rapidly from
August to November than earlier in the year, and prices
of farm and food products declined. In recent months
increases in average wage rates have been large, but
not so large as in the spring and summer.
In his State of the Union message, the President
set forth a program of fiscal stimulus, including
tax rebates for individuals and a temporary increase
in the investment tax credit for business. The
President also proposed a new program to reduce the
consumption of energy; the program includes new
taxes in the energy area along with measures of tax
relief that, on balance, are designed to have a
neutral effect on the size of the Federal deficit.
The dollar in December and early January con
tinued the gradual decline against leading foreign
currencies that began in September. In November,
as in October, the U.S. foreign trade deficit was
moderate; sizable inflows of official funds from
oil-exporting countries continued, while other
capital inflows and outflows reported by banks
were roughly offsetting.
The narrowly defined money stock grew at an
annual rate of 4 per cent over the fourth quarter
of 1974, while the more broadly defined measure
of the stock grew at a rate of nearly 7 per cent.
In December and early January, however, the narrowly
defined money stock changed little. Net inflows of
consumer-type time and savings deposits at banks
slowed sharply in December, although they continued



to improve at nonbank thrift institutions; in early
January deposit inflows at banks picked up. Busi
ness demands for short-term credit, both at banks
and in the commercial paper market, moderated
further in December, while demands in the long
term market remained strong. Over recent weeks
short-term market interest rates have declined sub
stantially, but yields on long-term securities
have changed little, on balance. Federal Reserve
discount rates were reduced from 7-3/4 to 7-1/4 per
cent in early January, and on January 20 the Board
announced a reduction in reserve requirements on
demand deposits estimated to release $1.1 billion
in required reserves.
In light of the foregoing developments, it is
the policy of the Federal Open Market Committee,
while resisting inflationary pressures and working
toward equilibrium in the country's balance of pay
ments, to foster financial conditions conducive to
cushioning recessionary tendencies and stimulating
economic recovery.
To implement this policy, while taking account
of the forthcoming Treasury financing, developments
in domestic and international financial markets, and
the Board's action on reserve requirements, the Com
mittee seeks to achieve bank reserve and money market
conditions consistent with more rapid growth in mone
tary aggregates over the months ahead than has occur
red in recent months.

Secretary's note: The specifications agreed
upon by the Committee, in the form distri
buted following the meeting, are appended to
this memorandum as Attachment D.



Chairman Burns noted that a memorandum from the Committee's
General Counsel, entitled "Proposed revision of Committee's Rules
Regarding Availability of Information in light of 1974 amendments
to Freedom of Information Act"1/ had been distributed on January 16,

He asked Mr. O'Connell to comment.
Mr. O'Connell observed that revisions in the Rules were

necessitated by recent legislation amending that part of the
Administrative Procedures Act known as the "Freedom of Information
Act" which would become effective February 19, 1975.

In his opinion,

the new legislation required modifications in the procedures
employed for making information of the Committee available to
the public but not in the substance of what was made available.
The broad objective of the amendments to the Act was to insure

more responsible, meaningful, and rapid handling of requests.

other things, they provided for specific time limits for making
a determination as to the availability of requested information
and for acting on appeals of denials of information; they required
that there be clear identification of the official responsible for
denials; and they required promulgation of a uniform schedule of
fees to be charged for search and duplication of agency records.
Mr. O'Connell noted that the specific changes he recom
mended in the Committee's Rules, shown in Attachment B to his
1/ A copy of this memorandum has been placed in the Committee's



memorandum, affected parts of Sections 271.4 and 271.6.

No changes

were proposed in Sections 271.1, 271.2, 271.3, 271.5, and 271.7,
or in subsections (a) and (b) of 271.4.
Within Section 271.4,Mr. O'Connell continued, the changes
involved revisions in subsection (c) and the addition of new sub
sections (d), (e), and (f).

With respect to subsection (c), one

of the recommended revisions would substitute the Secretary of
the Committee for the presently designated Secretary of the Board
as the person to whom requests for access to Committee records
should be addressed.

A second would delete the present language

relating to fees for locating and copying requested records, in
view of the proposal that a fee schedule be set forth separately
in the new subsection (f).

Finally, language would be added

indicating, in accordance with new requirements of the law, that
the Secretary would determine within 10 working days after a
request was received whether or not to comply, and that he would
immediately notify the requesting party of his decision and the
reasons therefor and of the latter's right to appeal any denials
of records to the Committee.
Mr. O'Connell observed that the addition to Section 271.4
of subsections (d) and (e), which related, respectively, to appeals
of denials of access to records and to extensions of time require
ments in unusual circumstances, also was proposed in order to



conform with new statutory requirements.

Subsection (d) provided

that appeals of denials could be filed with the Secretary within
10 days, and that the Committee--or such member or members as the
Committee might designate--would make a determination regarding the
appeal within 20 working days of the receipt of the appeal notice
and would immediately notify the appealing party of the nature of
the decision and of the party's right to seek a court review of any
decision that upheld the denial by the Secretary.
Mr. O'Connell emphasized that the limit of 10 working days
for responding to initial requests and the limit of 20 working days
for acting on appeals both related to the determinations as to
whether the records requested would be made available, not to the
physical production of any records requested.

In cases where the

response was favorable, a reasonable additional amount of time would
be available for actually locating and supplying the records.
Before turning to the fee schedule in the proposed new sub
section (f) of Section 271.4, Mr. O'Connell commented briefly on
the two revisions proposed in Section 271.6.

The first involved a

modification of the wording of item (a) in the list contained in
that section of the types of information that would not be disclosed
except as might be authorized by the Committee.
information exempted from disclosure

Item (a) concerned

by statute or executive order,



and the modification was recommended to conform to a change in the
corresponding provision of the statute.

The second revision in

volved the deletion of the concluding sentence of 271. 6, which
provided that any person denied access to Committee records could
file a written request within 5 days for Committee review of such

That deletion would, of course, be desirable if the Rules

included the provisions for appeals contained in the proposed new
subsection (d) of 271.4.
Mr. O'Connell noted that the Committee could act finally
today with respect to all of the proposed revisions in the Rules
except the adoption of subsection (f) of 271.4, setting
the fee schedule.


Final action with respect to the latter had

to be deferred because of a statutory requirement that proposed
uniform schedules of fees be published for comment.

The Board

of Governors was, of course, subject to the same requirement in
connection with its own Rules Regarding the Availability of
Information, and the schedule contained in the proposed 271.4(f)
of the Committee's Rules was identical with one the Board yes
terday had authorized for publication in the Federal Register,
except that reference was made to the Secretary of the Committee
rather than to the Secretary of the Board.
called for a charge of

The proposed language

$10 per hour for time spent in searching



and 10 cents per standard page for copying.

For information

obtainable only by computer processing, it provided for a fee
"not to exceed the direct and reasonable cost of retrieval and
production of the information requested," and indicated that
detailed schedules of such charges were available on request.
Mr. O'Connell said he recommended that the Committee
adopt the revisions in Sections 271.4 and 271.6 of its Rules
Regarding the Availability of Information set forth in Attach
ment B to his memorandum, effective February 19, 1975, except for
the fee schedule shown in the proposed new subsection (f) of
271.4; and that it authorize publication for comment in the
Federal Register of that fee schedule, in the expectation that
final action would be taken on the matter, in light of comments
received, on or before February 19.
After discussion, the Committee agreed that Mr. O'Connell's
recommendations should be approved.
By unanimous vote, Sections 271.4
and 271.6 of the Committee's Rules Regard
ing the Availability of Information were
amended to read as follows, effective
February 19, 1975:
Section 271.4--Records Available to
the Public on Request
(a) Records available.--Records of the Committee
are made available to any person, upon request, for
inspection or copying in accordance with the provisions


of this section and subject to the limitations stated
in §§ 271.5 and 271.6. Records falling within the
exemptions from disclosure set forth in section 522(b)
of Title 5 of the United States Code and in § 271.6
may nevertheless be made available in accordance with
this section to the fullest extent consistent, in the
Committee's judgment, with the effective performance
of the Committee's statutory responsibilities and with
the avoidance of injury to a public or private interest
intended to be protected by such exemptions.
(b) Place and time.--In general, the records of
the Committee are held in the custody of the Board,
but certain of such records, or copies thereof, are
held in the custody of one or more of the Federal
Reserve Banks. Any such records subject to this
section will be made available for inspection or
copying during regular business hours at the offices
of the Board in the Federal Reserve Building, 20th
and Constitution Avenue, Washington, D.C., 20551, or,
in certain instances as provided in paragraph (c) of
this section, at the offices of one or more designated
Federal Reserve Banks.
(c) Obtaining access to records.--Any person re
questing access to records of the Committee shall sub
mit such request in writing to the Secretary of the
In any case in which the records requested,
or copies thereof, are available at a Federal Reserve
Bank, the Secretary of the Committee may so advise the
person requesting access to the records. Every request
for access to records of the Committee shall state the
full name and address of the person requesting them and
shall describe such records in a manner reasonably suf
ficient to permit their identification without undue
difficulty. The Secretary of the Committee shall deter
mine within ten working days after receipt of a request
for access to records of the Committee whether to comply
with such request; and he shall immediately notify the
requesting party of his decision, of the reasons therefor,
and of the right of the requesting party to appeal to
the Committee any refusal to make available the requested
records of the Committee.



(d) Appeal of denial of access to records of the
Committee.--Any person who is denied access to records
of the Committee, properly requested in accordance with
paragraph (c) of this section, may file, with the
Secretary of the Committee, within ten days of notifi
cation of such denial, a written request for review of
such denial. The Committee, or such member or members
as the Committee may designate (pursuant to section
272.4(c) of its Rules of Procedure), shall make a deter
mination with respect to any such appeal within 20
working days of its receipt, and shall immediately
notify the appealing party of the decision on the
appeal and of the right to seek court review of any
decision which upholds, in whole or in part, the re
fusal of the Secretary of the Committee to make avail
able the requested records.
(e) Extension of time requirements in unusual cir
cumstances.--In unusual circumstances as provided in
5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(b), the time limitations imposed
upon the Secretary of the Committee or the Committee
or its designated representative(s) in paragraphs (c)
and (d) of this section may be extended by written
notice to the requesting party for a period of time
not to exceed a total of ten working days.

Section 271.6--Information
Not Disclosed
Except as may be authorized by the Committee,
information of the Committee that is not available
to the public through other sources will not be
published or made available for inspection, ex
amination, or copying by any person if such in
(a) is exempted from disclosure by statute or
is specifically authorized under criteria established
by an executive order to be kept secret in the in
terest of national defense or foreign policy and is
in fact properly classified pursuant to such execu
tive order;



(b) relates solely to internal personnel rules or
practices or other internal practices of the Committee;
(c) relates to trade secrets or commercial or
financial information obtained from any person and
privileged or confidential;
(d) is contained in inter-agency or intra-agency
memoranda or letters, including records of delib
erations and discussions at meetings of the Committee
and reports and documents filed by members or staff
of the Committee that would not be routinely avail
able to a private party in litigation with the Com
(e) is contained in personnel, medical, or simi
lar files (including financial files) the disclosure
of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted in
vasion of personal privacy; or
(f) is contained in or related to examination,
operating, or condition reports prepared by, on
behalf of, or for the use of any agency responsible
for the regulation or supervision of financial in
Except as provided by or pursuant to this Part, no
person shall disclose, or permit the disclosure of,
any information of the Committee to any person,
whether by giving out or furnishing such information
or copy thereof, by allowing any person to inspect,
examine, or reproduce such information or copy there
of, or by any other means, whether the information
is located at the offices of the Board, any Federal
Reserve Bank, or elsewhere, unless such disclosure
is required in the performance of duties for, or
pursuant to the direction of, the Committee.
By unanimous vote, publication
for comment in the Federal Register
of the following proposed uniform
schedule of fees, intended for incor
poration in the Committee's Rules Re
garding the Availability of Informa
tion, was authorized:



Fee Schedule.--A person requesting access to
or copies of particular records shall pay the costs
of searching and copying such records at the rate
of $10 per hour for searching and 10 cents per
standard page for copying. With respect to infor
mation obtainable only by processing through a
computer or other information systems program, a
person requesting such information shall pay a fee
not to exceed the direct and reasonable cost of
retrieval and production of the information requested.
Detailed schedules of such charges are available
upon request from the Secretary of the Committee.
Documents may be furnished without charge or at a
reduced charge where the Secretary of the Committee
or such person as he may designate determines that
waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public in
terest because furnishing the information can be
considered as primarily benefiting the general public.
Mr. O'Connell referred to his earlier observation that the
new subsection (d) of 271.4 of the Rules provided that either the
Committee "or such member or members as the Committee may designate"
would act on appeals of denials of access to records.

In view of

the time requirements for responding to appeals and of the Commit
tee's practice of meeting at monthly intervals, he would suggest
that that responsibility be delegated to one member--preferably
one located in Washington, where requests for records would be
received and where the bulk of the records were kept.
After discussion, Chairman Burns suggested that the respon
sibility for acting on appeals be delegated to Mr. Holland, and in
his absence, to Mr. Coldwell.
There was general agreement with the Chairman's suggestion.



By unanimous vote, responsibility
for making determinations with respect
to appeals of denial of access to Com
mittee records, under the provisions
of 271.4(d) of the Committee's Rules
Regarding Availability of Information,
was delegated to Mr. Holland, and in
his absence, to Mr. Coldwell.
The Chairman then noted that two memoranda from the
Secretariat, regarding the release of the Committee's memoranda
of discussion for the year 1969, had been distributed on January 13,

He asked whether there were any objections to the recom

mendations contained therein, and none was heard.
By unanimous vote, transfer to
the National Archives of the FOMC
memoranda of discussion for 1969,
on the basis described in memoranda
from the Secretariat dated January 13,
1975, was authorized.

1/ The first of the two memoranda recommended that the Com
mittee authorize the release of its memoranda of discussion for
the calendar year 1969 in the same manner as had been employed
for earlier years--namely, by transmitting the original signed
copies to the National Archives and placing bound volumes contain
ing reproductions in the libraries at all Federal Reserve offices.
The second memorandum recommended that when the 1969 memoranda of
discussion were initially released, one passage, in the memorandum
for November 25, 1969, be withheld, in accordance with a request
by a foreign central bank. It was noted that such a procedure would
be consistent with that followed in the corresponding documents
for the years 1962 through 1968, where a number of sensitive pass
ages had been withheld. A prefatory note included in the volumes
for each of those years explained that deletions were made only for
certain specified reasons, that the point at which each deletion
occurred was noted, and that the general nature of the omitted
material was indicated by footnote.



It was agreed that the next meeting of the Committee would
be held on Wednesday, February 19, 1975.
Thereupon the meeting adjourned.



Henry C. Wallich
January 21, 1975

Report to the Federal Open Market Committee on
International Monetary Meetings (January 1975)

The international monetary meetings held in Washington from
January 9 to January 17 focused on two broad areas:

arrangements for

the multilateral financing of oil deficits and provisions governing
the future evolution of the international monetary system.


progress toward final agreement was noticeable in both areas.
With respect to arrangements for the multilateral financing
of oil deficits, the Group of Ten Ministers and Central Bank Governors
agreed that the Kissinger/Simon/OECD solidarity fund should be
established at the earliest possible date.

Several aspects of this

new financial support arrangement, which will be open to all members
of the OECD, have yet to be worked out.

In particular, the form of

financing for the solidarity fund and the distribution of quotas within
the proposed total of $25 billion remain undecided and await political

Although by the end of the meetings all countries supported

the concept of the solidarity fund, it was necessary to make concessions
to the viewpoints of other countries, particularly Germany, in order to
reach agreement; it now appears that access to the fund will be only as
a last resort, stiff policy conditions will be applied to borrowers,
and tough majorities will be required to approve any loans made under
the facility.

Some countries have expressed concern that when final

agreement on the solidarity fund is reached -- approval by the OECD

Council at the end of February is expected -- countries in need may be
reluctant to apply to it.
A complementary proposal for a 1975 Oil Facility in the IMF
was also approved in principle by the IMF Interim Committee.


United States initially opposed renewal of the 1974 Oil Facility, which
was designed to borrow primarily from the oil-exporting countries and
lend to countries in a quasi-automatic form on the basis of the increase
in their oil import costs, without much regard to their overall position.
The United States finally agreed to a 1975 Oil Facility with a limit
of SDR 5 billion, roughly $6 billion, on total IMF borrowing for this
purpose -- the Europeans and developing countries wanted a limit of
SDR 10-12 billion.

Many countries will press for the continuation of

the oil facility concept in 1976 and hope that the 1975 Oil Facility
will be expanded at a later date.

The United States will continue to

argue for the phasing out of the oil facility and for increased reliance
on the IMF's regular resources in the General Account which provide for
more efficient use of financial resources.

In this connection, the

United States received some support for the proposition that members of
the IMF should be required to relax their constraints on the IMF's use
of their currency subscriptions.

Currently many currencies cannot be

used because of countries' effective veto power.
On a third related topic, the Managing Director of the IMF mad
a proposal that a Special Account be established that would be administe
by the IMF and would receive contributions (from oil-exporting, industri

and, possibly,other countries) that would be used to subsidize the
interest burden on drawings from the 1975 Oil Facility by the most
seriously affected developing countries.

The Managing Director's

proposal leaves open the question of how these contributions might
be financed.

The United States had proposed contributions to

a Trust Fund administered by the IMF, which would be used to make
actual loans at concessionary rates and should be financed in part
from the "profits" on the IMF's gold holdings.

This proposal was not

well received, although it was referred by the IMF/IBRD Development
Committee to the Executive Directors for further study.


the Managing Director's proposal received general endorsement, it
is known that several major countries do not support the idea, or
will be unwilling, or unable, to contribute.

Thus, the prospects for

quick financial assistance for the most seriously affected developing
countries remain uncertain.
Turning to other proposals concerning the evolution of the
international monetary system that were before the IMF Interim Committee,
a tentative agreement was reached on the question of increasing IMF

It was tentatively agreed that (1) IMF quotas should be

increased by 32.5 per cent, rounded up to a total size of the Fund of
SDR 39 billion; (2) the collective quota share of the major oil-exporting
countries should be doubled; (3) the collective quota share of the other
developing countries should be unchanged; and (4) the next review of
quotas should be in three years, instead of the normal five.

It was

also understood, but not made explicit, that the U.S. voting quota would
be maintained at a level giving the U.S. certain veto rights.


tentative agreement on IMF quotas will require considerable negotiation
within the IMF.
The major amendments tentatively scheduled for inclusion in
the package are:

(1) an amendment increasing the usability by the IMF

of countries' currency subscriptions, (2) an amendment legalizing
floating, (3) a comprehensive set of amendments on gold, and (4) an
amendment establishing a permanent Council in the IMF to replace the
advisory Interim Committee.

It is clear that there will not be an

amendment on the SDR/aid link, but the developing countries may insist
on other concessions.
On the legalization of floating under the

MF Articles, few

countries now support the U.S. view that countries should have the
unrestricted right to permit their currencies to float indefinitely.
France, some other industrial countries, and the developing countries
continue to hold the view that any floating should be a temporary
exception to a regime of stable but adjustable par values and should
be subject to IMF approval and conditions.

Nevertheless, it is hard

to predict how firm an endorsement of legalized floating might ultimatel)
prove acceptable to other countries as part of a package of amendments.

On gold, France presented its position favoring:

(1) the

abolition of the official gold price, (2) freedom for countries to engage
in transactions in gold with the IMF, each other, and the market subject
possibly to temporary restraining arrangements among governments -- but

outside of the IMF -- governing such transactions, and (3) the return
of the IMF's gold to its members.

France does not favor a limited

amendment dealing only with the payment of the gold portion of
countries' quota increases.

The Managing Director observed that

(1) removing gold from the IMF Articles did not ensure its removal
from the center of the international monetary system; (2) it was
desirable to adopt arrangements to ensure that countries' gold stocks
would decline; (3) the time period specified in any agreement on
conditions governing gold transactions between governments and with
the market should not be too short; and (4) the return of the IMF's
gold to its members, at par, would hurt the Fund.
of other countries expressed support for his views.

Several representatives
Nevertheless, it

appears that the Interim Committee has gone some way toward the eventual
adoption of the French position, although this depends on the working
out of the details.
On the Council, it was generally agreed that an amendment
on this subject was not urgent, but, if a package of amendments is put
together, an amendment on the Council is likely to be included.
The Interim Committee will meet again in Paris in early June;
at that time it will consider the package of amendments to the IMF
Articles and will reconsider the agreement on IMF quota increases.


is clear that the legalization of floating and broad resolution of the
gold question have been, for the moment, linked together in the
consideration of any package of amendments.

It is also clear that many

countries oppose the U.S. position on the legalization of floating and
many countries oppose the French position on gold.

16th January, 1975.

in Washington on 14th and 16th January, 1975.

The Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the ten coun
tries participating in the General Arrangements to Borrow met in
Washington on the 14th and 16th of January, 1975, under the
Chairmanship of Mr. Masayoshi Ohira, Minister of Finance of Japan.
The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund,
Mr. H. J. Witteveen, took part in the meetings, which were also
attended by the President of the Swiss National Bank,
Mr. F. Leutwiler, the Secretary-General of the OECD, Mr. E. van Lennep
the General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements,
Mr. R. Larre, and the Vice-President of the Commission of the E.E.C.
Mr. W. Haferkamp.
After hearing a report from the Chairman of their Deputies
Mr. Rinaldo Ossola, the Ministers and Governors agreed that a
solidarity fund, a new financial support arrangement, open to all
members of the OECD, should be established at the earliest possible
date, to be available for a period of two years. Each participant
will have a quota which will serve to determine its obligations and
borrowing rights and its relative weight for voting purp6ses. The
distribution of quotas will be based mainly on GNP and foreign trade
The total of all participants' quotas will be approximately $25 billion
The aim of this arrangement is to support the determina
tion of participating countries to pursue appropriate domestic and
international economic policies, including cooperative policies to
encourage the increased production and conservation of energy.
It was agreed that this arrangement will be a safety net, to be
used as a last resort. Participants requesting loans under the new
arrangement will be required to show that they are encountering
serious balance-of-payments difficulties and are making the fullest
appropriate use of their own reserves and of resources available
to them through other channels. All loans made through this
arrangement will be subject to appropriate economic policy condi
tions. It was also agreed that all participants will jointly share
the default risks on loans under the arrangement in proportion to,
and up to the limits of, their quotas.


In response to a request by a participant for a loan, the
other participants will take a decision, by a two-thirds majority,
on the granting of the loan and its terms and conditions, in the case
of loans up to the quota, and as to whether, for balance-of-payments
reasons, any country should not be required to make a direct con
tribution in the case of any loan. The granting of a loan in excess
of the quota and up to 200 per cent of the quota will require a very
strong majority and beyond that will require a unanimous decision.
If one or more participants are not required to contribute to the
financing of a loan, the requirements for approval of the loan must
also be met with respect to the contributing participants.
Further work is needed to determine financing methods.
These might include direct contributions and/or joint borrowing in
capital markets. Until the full establishment of the new arrange
ment, there might also be temporary financing through credit
arrangements between central banks.
Ministers and Governors agreed to recommend the immediate
establishment of an ad hoc OECD Working Group, with representatives
from all interested OECD countries, to prepare a draft agreement in
line with the above principles. In their view this work should be
concluded in time to permit approval by the OECD Council by the end
of February, 1975.

19th and H Streets N. W., Washington, D.C.




January 16, 1975

Press Communique of the Interim Committee of the Board
of Governors on the International Monetary System

The Interim Committee of the International Monetary Fund held its
second meeting in Washington, D.C. on January 15 and 16, 1975.
Mr. John N. Turner, Minister of Finance of Canada, was in the chair.
Mr. H. Johannes Witteveen, Managing Director of the International Monetary
Fund, participated in the meeting. The following observers attended
during the Committee's discussions of the matters referred to in para
graphs 2, 3, and 4 below: Mr. Henri Konan Bedie, Chairman, Bank-Fund
Development Committee; Mr. Gamani Corea, Secretary General, UNCTAD;
Mr. Wilhelm Haferkamp, Vice President, EC Commission; Mr. Mahjoob A.
Hassanain, Chief, Economics Department, OPEC; Mr. Rene Larre, General
Manager, BIS; Mr. Emile van Lennep, Secretary General, OECD; Mr. Olivier
Long, Director General, GATT; Mr. Robert S. McNamara, President, IBRD.
The Committee discussed the world economic outlook and against this
Great concern was
background the international adjustment process.
expressed about the depth and duration of the present recessionary condi
tions. It was urged that anti-recessionary policies should be pursued
while continuing to combat inflation, particularly by countries in a
relatively strong balance of payments position. It was observed that
very large disequilibria persist not only between major oil exporting
countries as a group and all other countries, but also among countries
in the latter group, particularly between industrial and primary producing
countries. Anxiety was also voiced that adequate financing might not
become available to cover the very large aggregate current account deficits,
of the order of US$30 billion, in prospect for the developing countries
other than major oil exporters in 1975.
The Committee agreed that the Oil Facility should be continued for
1975 on an enlarged basis. They urged the Managing Director to undertake
as soon as possible discussions with major oil exporting members of the
Fund, and with other members in strong reserve and payments positions
on loans by them for the purpose of financing the Facility. The Committee
agreed on a figure of SDR 5 billion as the total of loans to be sought for
this purpose. It was also agreed that any unused portion of the loans
negotiated in 1974 should be available in 1975. The Committee agreed that

in view of the uncertainties inherent in present world economic conditions,
it was necessary to keep the operation of the Oil Facility under constant
review so as to be able to take whatever further action might be necessary
in the best interests of the international community. It was also under
stood that during the coming months it would be useful to review the
policies, practices, and resources of the Fund since it would be appro
priate to make increased use of the Fund's ordinary holdings of currency
to meet the needs of members that were encountering difficulties.
The Committee emphasized the need for decisive action to help the
most seriously affected developing countries.
In connection with the
Oil Facility, the Committee fully endorsed the recommendation of the
Managing Director that a special account should be established with
appropriate contributions by oil exporting and industrial countries, and
possibly by other members capable of contributing, and that the Fund
should administer this account in order to reduce for the most seriously
affected members the burden of interest payable by them under the Oil
5. The Committee considered questions relating to the sixth general
review of the quotas of members, which is now under way, and agreed,
subject to satisfactory amendment of the Articles, that the total of
present quotas should be increased by 32.5 per cent and rounded up to
SDR 39 billion. It was understood that the period for the next general
review of quotas would be reduced from five years to three years. The
Committee also agreed that the quotas of the major oil exporters should
be substantially increased by doubling their share as a group in the
enlarged Fund, and that the collective share of all other developing
countries should not be allowed to fall below its present level. There
was a consensus that because an important purpose of increases in quotas
was strengthening the Fund's liquidity, arrangements should be made under
which all the Fund's holdings of currency would be usable in accordance
with its policies. The Committee invited the Executive Directors to
examine quotas on the basis of the foregoing understandings, and to make
specific recommendations as promptly as possible on increases in the
quotas of individual member countries.

6. I. The Committee considered the question of amendment of the
Articles of Agreement of the Fund. It was agreed that the Executive
Directors should be asked to continue their work on this subject and, as
soon as possible, submit for consideration by the Committee draft amend
ments on the following subjects:
(a) The transformation of the Interim Committee into a permanent
Council at an appropriate time, in which each member would be able to
cast the votes of the countries in his constituency separately. The
Council would have decision-making authority under powers delegated to
it by the Board of Governors.
(b) Improvements in the General Account, which would include
(i) elimination of the obligation of member countries to use gold to
make such payments to the Fund as quota subscriptions and repurchases


and the determination of the media of payment, which the Executive
Directors would study, and (ii) arrangements to ensure that the Fund's
holdings of all currencies would be usable in its operations under
satisfactory safeguards for all members.
(c) Improvements in the characteristics of the SDR designed to
promote the objective of making it the principal reserve asset of the
international monetary system.
(d) Provision for stable but adjustable par values and the floating
of currencies in particular situations, subject to appropriate rules and
surveillance of the Fund, in accordance with the Outline of Reform.
II. The Committee also discussed a possible amendment that would
establish a link between allocations of SDRs and development finance,
but there continues to be a diversity of views on this matter. It was
agreed to keep the matter under active study, but at the same time to
consider other ways for increasing the transfer of real resources to
developing countries.
The Committee also agreed that the Executive Directors should be
asked to consider possible improvements in the Fund's facilities on the
compensatory financing of export fluctuations and the stabilization of
prices of primary products and to study the possibility of an amendment
of the Articles of Agreement that would permit the Fund to provide
assistance directly to international buffer stocks of primary products.
There was an intensive discussion of future arrangements for gold.
The Committee reaffirmed that steps should be taken as soon as possible
to give the special drawing right the central place in the international
monetary system. It was generally agreed that the official price for
gold should be abolished and obligatory payments of gold by member
Much progress was made in
countries to the Fund should be eliminated.
moving toward a complete set of agreed amendments on gold, including
the abolition of the official price and freedom for national monetary
authorities to enter into gold transactions under certain specific
arrangements, outside the Articles of the Fund, entered into between national
monetary authorities in order to ensure that the role of gold in the
It is expected
international monetary system would be gradually reduced.
that after further study by the Executive Directors, in which the interests
of all member countries would be taken into account, full agreement can
be reached in the near future so that it would be possible to combine
these amendments with the package of amendments as described in para
graphs 6 and 7 above.
The Committee agreed to meet again in
in Paris, France.

the early part of June,



January 20, 1975
Drafts of Domestic Policy Directive for Consideration by the
Federal Open Market Committee at its Meeting on January 20-21, 1975
The information reviewed at this meeting suggests that
real output of goods and services fell sharply in the fourth
quarter of 1974 and that further declines are in prospect for
the months immediately ahead. In December declines in industrial
production and employment again were sharp and widespread, and the
unemployment rate increased from 6.5 to 7.1 per cent. Average
wholesale prices of industrial commodities were unchanged, after
having risen much less rapidly from August to November than earlier
in the year, and prices of farm and food products declined. In
recent months increases in average wage rates have been large, but
not so large as in the spring and summer.
In his State of the Union message, the President set forth
a program of fiscal stimulus, including tax rebates for individuals
and a temporary increase in the investment tax credit for business.
The President also proposed a new program to reduce the consumption
of energy; the program includes import fees and excise taxes on
petroleum products and measures of tax relief that, altogether, are
designed to have a neutral effect on the size of the Federal deficit.
The dollar in December and early January continued the
gradual decline against leading foreign currencies that began in
September. In November, as in October, the U.S. foreign trade
deficit was moderate; sizable inflows of official funds from oil
exporting countries continued, while other capital inflows and
outflows reported by banks were roughly offsetting.
The narrowly defined money stock grew at an annual rate
of 4 per cent over the fourth quarter of 1974, while the more
broadly defined measure of the stock grew at a rate of nearly
7 per cent. In December and early January, however, the narrowly
defined money stock changed little. Net inflows of consumer-type
time and savings deposits at banks slowed sharply in December,
although they continued to improve at nonbank thrift institutions;
in early January deposit inflows at banks picked up. Business
demands for short-term credit, both at banks and in the commercial

paper market, moderated further in December, while demands in the
Over recent weeks short-term
long-term market remained strong.
market interest rates have declined substantially, but yields on
long-term securities have changed little, on balance. Effective
January 6, Federal Reserve discount rates were reduced from
7-3/4 to 7-1/4 per cent.
In light of the foregoing developments, it is the policy
of the Federal Open Market Committee, while resisting inflationary
pressures and working toward equilibrium in the country's balance
of payments, to foster financial conditions conducive to cushion
ing recessionary tendencies and stimulating economic recovery.
Alternative A
To implement this policy, while taking account of the
forthcoming Treasury financing, and of developments in domestic
and international financial markets, the Committee seeks to
achieve bank reserve and money market conditions consistent with
more rapid growth in monetary aggregates over the months ahead
than has occurred in recent months.
Alternative B
To implement this policy, while taking account of the
forthcoming Treasury financing and of developments in domestic
and international financial markets, the Committee seeks to
achieve bank reserve and money market conditions consistent
with somewhat more rapid growth in monetary aggregates over
the months ahead than has occurred in recent months.
Alternative C
To implement this policy, while taking account of the
forthcoming Treasury financing and of developments in domestic
and international financial markets, the Committee seeks to
achieve bank reserve and money market conditions consistent
with moderate growth in monetary aggregates over the months


January 21, 1975
Changes in Draft Directives
The staff suggests two changes in the draft directives
distributed yesterday to take account of the Board's action on
reserve requirements.

We suggest that the sentence beginning in

line 38, which previously referred only to discount rates, be changed
to read as follows:

"Federal Reserve discount rates were reduced from 7-3/4
to 7-1/4 per cent in early January, and on January 20
the Board announced a reduction in reserve requirements
on demand deposits estimated to release $1.1 billion in

required reserves."
With respect to the operational paragraph, we suggest that the
opening lines be changed to read as follows:
"To implement this policy, while taking account of
the forthcoming Treasury financing, developments in domestic
and international financial markets, and the Board's action on

the Committee seeks.

. .. "


January 21, 1975
Points for FOMC guidance to Manager
in implementation of directive


(As agreed, 1/21/75)

Longer-run targets (SAAR):
(First and second quarters combined)




Short-run operating constraints:


Range of tolerance for RPD growth
rate (January-February average):

6-1/4 to 9-1/4%

Ranges of tolerance for monetary
aggregates (January-February average):

3-1/2 to 6-1/2%
7 to 10%



Range of tolerance for Federal funds
rate (daily average in statement
weeks between meetings):

6-1/2 to 7-1/4%


Federal funds rate to be moved in an
orderly way within range of toleration.


Other considerations: account to be taken of forthcoming Treasury
financing, developments in domestic and international financial markets,
and the Board's action on reserve requirements.

If it appears that the Committee's various operating constraints are
proving to be significantly inconsistent in the period between meetings,
the Manager is promptly to notify the Chairman, who will then promptly
decide whether the situation calls for special Committee action to give
supplementary instructions.