Open-Market Rate


What is the Open-Market rate

The free market rate is the interest rate paid on any debt security traded on the free market. Interest rates for debt securities such as commercial paper and bankers’ acceptances would fall into the free market rate category. Debt securities include government bonds, corporate bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal bonds and preferred shares.


Free market rates are sensitive and can fluctuate frequently. These rates respond directly to changes in supply and demand pressures on the free market. It is essential to distinguish between the open market rate and open market operations. The latter is the structure in which the Federal Reserve can allocate and control the supply of reserve balances available in the banking system. This control is one of the main tactics used by the Federal Reserve to implement monetary policy.

Open market operations generally involve the purchase and sale of government securities by a central bank on the open market. These transactions allow the expansion or reduction of the amount of money in the banking system at any given time. Purchasing securities creates a liquidity injection into the banking system, which promotes growth. On the other hand, when stocks sell, it will have the opposite effect and slow the economy.

Other rates that affect the free market

The free market rate differs from the discount rate and various other official rates set by the Federal Reserve. The discount rate is the interest rate applied to commercial banks and other depositary financial institutions for loans received from the Federal Reserve’s discount window.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), a committee of the Federal Reserve system, sets a target for the federal funds rate, which is the interest that banks charge each other for making day-to-day loans from their Federal Reserve funds. The FOMC then uses activity on the open market for government securities to try to achieve this rate. This rate is important because the federal funds rate, in turn, influences other important categories of interest rates, including the free market rate.

The secondary market and free market rates

Free market rates apply to any debt instrument traded on the secondary market, where investors buy and sell securities, instead of buying them directly from the issuing company. This secondary market is sometimes also called the secondary market. This implies that the investors conclude agreements between them, without having to deal with the entity which initially issued the securities. This type of trading activity is what most people probably consider when they think of the stock market. The secondary market is a category that would include well-known national exchanges such as NASDAQ and the New York Stock Exchange. Commercial bank loan rates do not fall into this category, as Fed policy mainly determines them.

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