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Rule

Extensions of Credit by Federal Reserve Banks; Change in Discount Rate

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AGENCY:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Board of Governors has amended its Regulation A on Extensions of Credit by Federal Reserve Banks to reflect its approval of a decrease in the basic discount rate at each Federal Reserve Bank. The Board acted on requested submitted by the Boards of Directors of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks.

DATES:

The amendments to part 201 (Regulation A) were effective April 18, 2001. The rate changes for adjustment credit were effective on the dates specified in 12 CFR 201.51.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jennifer J. Johnson, Secretary of the Board, at (202) 452-3259, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 20th and C Streets NW., Washington, DC 20551.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to the authority of sections 10(b), 13, 14, 19, et al., of the Federal Reserve Act, the Board has amended its Regulation A (12 CFR part 201) to incorporate changes in discount rates on Federal Reserve Bank extensions of credit. The discount rates are the interest rates charged to depository institutions when they borrow from their district Reserve Banks.

The “basic discount rate” is a fixed rate charged by Reserve Banks for adjustment credit and, at the Reserve Banks' discretion, for extended credit for up to 30 days. In decreasing the basic discount rate from 4.5 percent to 4.0 percent, the Board acted on requests submitted by the Boards of Directors of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks. The new rates were effective on the dates specified below. The 50-basic-point decrease in the discount rate was associated with a similar decrease in the federal funds rate approved by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) and announced at the same time.

In a joint press release announcing these actions, the FOMC and the Board of Governors noted that, since the FOMC's March meeting, a significant reduction in excess inventories seems well advanced. Consumption and housing expenditures have held up reasonably well, though activity in these areas has flattened recently. Although measured productivity probably weakened in the first quarter, the impressive underlying rate of increase that developed in recent years appears to be largely intact.

Nonetheless, capital investment has continued to soften and the persistent erosion in current and expected profitability, in combination with rising uncertainty about the business outlook, seems poised to dampen capital spending going forward. This potential restraint, together with the possible effects of earlier reductions in equity wealth on consumption and the risk of slower growth abroad, threatens to keep Start Printed Page 20901the pace of economic activity unacceptably weak. As a consequence, the FOMC agreed that an adjustment in the stance of policy is warranted during this extended intermeeting period.

The FOMC continues to believe that against the background of its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth and of the information currently available, the risks are weighted mainly toward conditions that may generate economic weakness in the foreseeable future.

Regulatory Flexibility Act Certification

Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 605(b)), the Board certifies that the change in the basic discount rate will not have a significant adverse economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The rule does not impose any additional requirements on entities affected by the regulation.

Administrative Procedure Act

The provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) relating to notice and public participation were not followed in connection with the adoption of the amendment because the Board for good cause finds that delaying the change in the basic discount rate in order to allow notice and public comment on the change is impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest in fostering price stability and sustainable economic growth.

The provisions of 5 U.S.C. 553(d) that prescribe 30 days prior notice of the effective date of a rule have not been followed because section 553 (d) provides that such prior notice is not necessary whenever there is good cause for finding that such notice is contrary to the public interest. As previously stated, the Board determined that delaying the changes in the basic discount rate is contrary to the public interest.

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List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 201

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For the reasons set out in the preamble,

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PART 201—EXTENSIONS OF CREDIT BY FEDERAL RESERVE BANKS (REGULATION A)

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1. The authority citation for

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Authority: 12 U.S.C. 343 et seq., 347a, 347b, 347c, 347d, 348 et seq., 357, 374, 374a and 461.

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2. Section 201.51 is revised to read as follows:

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Adjustment credit for depository institutions.

The rates for adjustment credit provided to depository institutions under § 201.3(a) are:

Federal Reserve BankRateEffective
Boston4.0April 18, 2001.
New York4.0April 18, 2001.
Philadelphia4.0April 18, 2001.
Cleveland4.0April 18, 2001.
Richmond4.0April 19, 2001.
Atlanta4.0April 18, 2001.
Chicago4.0April 19, 2001.
St. Louis4.0April 20, 2001.
Minneapolis4.0April 18, 2001.
Kansas City4.0April 18, 2001.
Dallas4.0April 18, 2001.
San Francisco4.0April 18, 2001.
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By order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, April 23, 2001.

Jennifer J. Johnson,

Secretary of the Board.

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[FR Doc. 01-10407 Filed 4-25-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6210-01-M