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The Fed's performance on its twin objectives of stable prices and maximum employment.

The Federal Reserve's Dual Mandate

Federal Reserve Balance Sheet

Chart

During the financial crisis and in the period since the fed funds rate neared the zero lower bound, the FOMC has employed unconventional tools to improve the functioning of financial markets and to provide additional policy accommodation. As seen in the chart above, the use of these tools has increased the size of the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet and altered its composition. At the same, the increase in assets has been accompanied by an increase in liabilities of a similar magnitude, driven primarily by an increase in the reserve balances of depository institutions held at the Federal Reserve.