This excerpt taken from the FTBK 10-K filed Mar 15, 2005.
Fiscal and Monetary Policies
FFCs business and earnings are affected significantly by the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal government and its agencies. FFC is particularly affected by the policies of the FRB, which regulates the supply of money and credit in the United States. Among the instruments of monetary policy available to the Federal Reserve are (a) conducting open market operations in United States government securities, (b) changing the discount rates of borrowings of depository institutions, (c) imposing or changing reserve requirements against depository institutions deposits, and (d) imposing or changing reserve requirements against certain borrowing by banks and their affiliates. These methods are used in varying degrees and combinations to directly affect the availability of bank loans and deposits, as well as the interest rates charged on loans and paid on deposits. For that reason alone, the policies of the FRB have a material effect on the earnings of FFC.