Federal Reserve

MarketWatch  20 min ago  Comment 
Government bonds, gold futures, the euro are all moving in curious ways, resulting in whipsawing trades over the past few weeks as the U.S. Federal Reserve attempts to make a case to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
New York Times  2 hrs ago  Comment 
The increase, reported by the Federal Reserve, hints at rising consumer demand. In a separate report, jobless claims slipped to a 15-year low.
The Australian  3 hrs ago  Comment 
US stocks rose at the end of trade, a day after they slumped in the wake of the Fed chief’s warning over high equity valuations.
Clusterstock  4 hrs ago  Comment 
This is classic. There is (finally) a picture of former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke and Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital, one of the most outspoken Fed haters and gold bugs around.  Both Schiff and Bernanke are at the SALT...
MarketWatch  4 hrs ago  Comment 
Credit card use slumped to four-year low in first quarter, despite gain in March, according to new data from the Federal Reserve.
Forbes  6 hrs ago  Comment 
Real-time payments firms got the attention at NACHA while the Fed formed a big committee.
Clusterstock  8 hrs ago  Comment 
By Jamie McGeever LONDON (Reuters) - Investors spooked by the "taper tantrum" of 2013, when global markets took fright at the U.S. Federal Reserve's first hint that it might taper its monetary expansion policy, take note: 2016 could be the year...
The Economic Times  8 hrs ago  Comment 
The reading is closely watched since strength in the labor market could lead the Federal Reserve to hike rates sooner.
Benzinga  8 hrs ago  Comment 
Markets were spooked on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen weighed in on the growing debate over whether or not US equities markets are overvalued. Speaking alongside International Monetary Fund Manager Christine Lagarde,...
BBC News  May 7  Comment 
Asian shares fell on Thursday, tracking losses seen on US markets after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen expressed concerns over share valuations.


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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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