The Fed would have us believe they run the controls. But at least in terms of interest rates, they do not. Interest rates are set in the open market where government bonds are sold at auction. The Fed Board does vote on a Fed rate, but this is just a formality since this rate generally follows the movement of auction rates for 6 month Treasury Bonds. Of course, the Fed can always influence the Bond sales by having anonymous parties in the back of the auction buying up Bonds that might otherwise go unsold. That's basically, how the Fed 'prints' money and helps the government stay liquid. Also, be careful about gold -- when gold is 'expected' to do something, it usually does the opposite.