Federal Funds


DEFINITION of 'Federal Funds'

Excess reserves that commercial banks deposit at regional Federal Reserve banks. Federal funds can then be lent to other commercial banks with insufficient reserves. These loans are made at a relatively low interest rate, called the federal funds rate or overnight rate, and they typically have an extremely short duration: overnight. Federal funds help commercial banks meet their daily reserve requirements. Banks are required to maintain a certain level of reserves based on the amount of customer deposits they are responsible for.

BREAKING DOWN 'Federal Funds'

When federal funds are freely available for borrowing, credit is easy to obtain and the credit market is considered healthy. When federal funds are difficult to obtain, credit becomes tight. If credit is too freely available, the Federal Reserve may buy back some of the government bonds it has issued to decrease the money supply and try to prevent inflation. The federal funds rate is closely related to short-term interest rates in the broader market.

  1. Federal Reserve Bank

    The central bank of the United States and the most powerful financial ...
  2. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds ...
  3. Same-Day Funds

    Money that can be transferred or withdrawn the same day that ...
  4. Fed Balance Sheet

    A breakdown of the assets and liabilities held by the Federal ...
  5. Euro Feds

    A federal wire transmission advancing funds in Eurodollars from ...
  6. Federal Reserve System - FRS

    The central bank of the United States. The Fed, as it is commonly ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    The Federal Reserve

    Few organizations can move the market like the Federal Reserve. As an investor, it's important to understand exactly what the Fed does and how it influences the economy.
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Basics Of Federal Bond Issues

    Treasuries are considered the safest investments, but they should still be analyzed when issued.
  3. Investing Basics

    Interest Rates And Your Bond Investments

    By understanding the factors that influence interest rates, you can learn to anticipate their movement and profit from it.
  4. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  5. Investing

    How to Win More by Losing Less in Today’s Markets

    The further you fall, the harder it is to climb back up. It’s a universal truth that is painfully apparent in the investing world.
  6. Economics

    Is the U.S. Economy Ready for Liftoff?

    The Fed continues to delay normalizing rates, citing inflation concerns and “global economic and financial developments” in explaining its rationale.
  7. Economics

    What's the 1913 Federal Reserve Act?

    The 1913 Federal Reserve Act was a pivotal congressional act that helped establish the Federal Reserve System as it exists today. It is one of the United States financial system’s most influential ...
  8. Investing News

    Could a Rate Hike Send Stocks Higher?

    A rate hike would certainly alter the investment scene, but would it be for the better or worse?
  9. Economics

    Open Market Operations vs. Quantitative Easing

    How does the Fed's implementation of Quantitative Easing differ from its more conventional open market operations?
  10. Investing Basics

    Reserve Bank of India Cuts Interest Rates

    On September 29, 2015, The Reserve Bank of India cut policy interest rates (or the repo rate) by a higher-than-expected 50 basis points, to stimulate domestic demand and to lower borrowing costs.
  1. How does the bond market react to changes in the Federal Funds Rate?

    The bond market is highly sensitive to changes in the federal funds rate. When the Federal Reserve increases the federal ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What does a cut in interest rates mean for the stock market?

    When the next Federal Reserve meeting is expected to bring interest rate cuts or increases, it is wise, as a stock investor, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Who decides to print money in Canada?

    In Canada, new money comes from two places: the Bank of Canada (BOC) and chartered banks such as the Toronto Dominion Bank ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are mutual funds considered cash equivalents?

    Though all mutual funds are considered liquid assets, only certain funds are considered cash equivalents. What Is a Cash ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Who decides when to print money in India?

    The Reserve Bank of India, or RBI, manages currency in India. The bank's additional responsibilities include regulating the ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why is my 401(k) not FDIC-Insured?

    401(k) plans are not FDIC-insured because they are typically composed of investments rather than deposits. The Federal Deposit ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  2. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  3. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
  4. Operating Cost

    Expenses associated with the maintenance and administration of a business on a day-to-day basis.
  5. Cost Of Funds

    The interest rate paid by financial institutions for the funds that they deploy in their business. The cost of funds is one ...
  6. Cost Accounting

    A type of accounting process that aims to capture a company's costs of production by assessing the input costs of each step ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!