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August 17, 2019 

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DISCOUNT RATE: The interest rate that the Federal Reserve System charges for loans to banks. To ensure that our nation's banks retain their liquidity and remain in business, the Federal Reserve System stands ready to lend bank reserves on a moment's notice to any bank. The discount rate is the interest rate the Federal Reserve System charges for these loans. Like any interest rate, when it goes up (or down) it discourages (or encourages) borrowing. In principle, the Fed can use the discount rate to control our nation's money supply.

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INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND: An agency of the United Nations established in 1945 to monitor and stabilize foreign exchange markets. Close to 150 of the world's nations (which is just about all of them) belong to the IMF. The IMF was set up to keep countries from manipulating their exchange rates in such a way as to gain a competitive trading advantage over others. Their strategies of control have changed over the decades, but they currently use a managed float where exchange rates are allowed to fluctuate with changing market conditions, but only within certain ranges. The IMF also plays an active role in providing the "international" currency needed to participate in foreign trade through its system of Special Drawing Rights.

     See also | foreign exchange market | exchange rate | J curve | managed float | fixed exchange rate | floating exchange rate | foreign trade | Special Drawing Rights | World Bank | G-7 |


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MANAGED FLEXIBLE EXCHANGE RATE

An exchange rate control policy in which an exchange rate that is generally allowed to adjust to equilibrium levels through to the interaction of supply and demand in the foreign exchange market, but with occasional intervention by government. Also termed managed float or dirty float, most nations of the world currently use a managed flexible exchange rate policy. With this alternative an exchange rate is free to rise and fall, but it is subject to government control if it moves too high or too low. With managed float, the government steps into the foreign exchange market and buys or sells whatever currency is necessary keep the exchange rate within desired limits. This is one of three basic exchange rate policies used by domestic governments. The other two policies are flexible exchange rate and fixed exchange rate.

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