Federal Reserve

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Yahoo  5 hrs ago  Comment 
U.S. stock investors may be bracing for further signs next week that the Federal Reserve could increase interest rates sooner rather than later, with retail sales expected to rebound after two straight months of declines. A pickup in retail sales...
Forbes  6 hrs ago  Comment 
The US stock market was not impressed with the details of the ECB stimulus plan and then sold off sharply Friday in reaction to the very strong jobs report. For February, 295,000 new jobs were added, considerably more than the estimate of...
New York Times  10 hrs ago  Comment 
Some numbers suggest the Fed should raise interest rates, but wages are still stagnant, and the number of people in the labor force just shrank.
The Economist  Mar 6  Comment 
THE latest non-farm payrolls - 295,000 jobs were added in February, while the unemployment rate fell to 5.5% - will reassure investors about the health of the US economy, while simultaneously provoking concerns about the likely date of the first...
MarketWatch  Mar 6  Comment 
The unemployment rate fell to 5.5%, within the range of full employment, but the Fed should let it fall further and not worry about phantom inflation, writes Rex Nutting.
Yahoo  Mar 6  Comment 
U.S. employment accelerated in February and the jobless rate fell to 5.5 percent, signs that could encourage the Federal Reserve to consider hiking interest rates in June.
Wall Street Journal  Mar 6  Comment 
The strongest stretch of job creation in two decades pushed the U.S. unemployment rate into the Federal Reserve’s target zone, keeping the central bank on track to raise interest rates as early as June and jolting investors worried about higher...
Wall Street Journal  9 hrs ago  Comment 
Clusterstock  Mar 6  Comment 
The really fantastic February jobs report shows a hint of wage growth in the economy — but only a hint.  Wages grew at a rate of 2% annually, versus an expectation of 2.2%. That's just barely outpacing inflation, and is a deceleration from...
MarketWatch  Mar 6  Comment 
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams expresses confidence that robust economic growth and healthy job gains would push inflation up over time.




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The Federal Reserve is the third central bank of the USA. It was legally established on December 23, 1913, when US president Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve System Act. The Federal Reserve was blamed to have deepened the Great Depression after the crash of 1929. In a panicky reaction it then deflated money supply, causing a lasting and deep economic contraction.

In the inflationary period from 1973 - caused by the first oil shock - to 1981 chairman Paul Volcker managed to battle inflation successfully by raising the leading interest rate to more than 20%. At the same time Volcker succeeded in keeping the economy out of a drawn-out recession.

The policy style changed with the nomination of Alan Greenspan in 1987. Only 2 months into office Greenspan was confronted with the Black Monday of 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrials Average fell 22%, its biggest loss ever in a day. Remembering the fatal results of tight liqudity after the crash of 1929 Greenspan offered banks all the funds they needed in order to avoid a meltdown of the stock market. Alan Greenspan can also be credited with blowing up the biggest debt bubble of all times in the new millennium. By lowering the Fed Funds rate to a record low of 1% the Federal Reserve contributed heavily to the American housing boom that turned out to be a bubble based on easy credit. Greenspan conceded in 2008 to Congress that he erred on wrong side when the Federal Reserve thought that the financial industry should not be burdened with more oversight. At this time the USA had fallen in the biggest financial crisis ever.

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The Federal Reserve Banks

The 12 Federal Reserve Banks were established by Congress as the operating arms of the nation's central banking system. Many of the services provided to depository institutions and the federal government by this network of Reserve Banks are similar to services provided by commercial banks and thrift institutions to business customers and individuals.

Reserve Banks

  • hold the cash reserves of depository institutions and make loans to them
  • move currency and coin into and out of circulation, and collect and process millions of checks each day
  • provide checking accounts for the Treasury, issue and redeem government securities, and act in other ways as fiscal agent for the U.S. government
  • supervise and examine commercial banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System for safety and soundness
  • participate in the activity that is the primary responsibility of the Federal Reserve System, the setting of monetary policy.
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