Headquarters Washington, D. C. Established

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Reserve_System

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Washington, D.C. Established in December 23, 1913 (99 years ago)

Central Bank of

United States Chairman Ben Bernanke


United States dollar

The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve and the Fed) is the central banking system of the U.S. It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, in response to a series of financial panics, particularly a severe panic in 1907. The responsibilities of the Fed have expanded & its structure has evolved. Events such as the Great Depression were major factors leading to changes in the system.

The US Congress established three key objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act-- maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.  The first two objectives are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve's dual mandate. Its duties have expanded over the years, and today, include conducting the nation's monetary policy, supervising and regulating banking institutions, maintaining the stability of the financial system and providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions.  The Fed also conducts research into the economy and releases numerous publications, such as the Beige Book.
The Federal Reserve's structure is composed of the presidentially appointed Board of Governors (or Federal Reserve Board), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation, numerous privately owned U.S. member banks and various advisory councils. According to the Board of Governors, the Federal Reserve "is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms.
The authority of the Federal Reserve System is derived from statutes enacted by the U.S. Congress and the System is subject to congressional oversight. The members of the Board of Governors, including its chairman and vice-chairman, are chosen by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The Federal Reserve System has both public and private aspects.

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