Federal Reserve

RECENT NEWS
Bloomberg  7 hrs ago  Comment 
Nancy Teeters, who in 1978 became the first woman on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, then continued to stand out by opposing former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker’s anti-inflation campaign, has died. She was 84.
Financial Times  10 hrs ago  Comment 
Rate-setting committee ‘needs bankers with experience’
New York Times  Nov 22  Comment 
For a secretive institution, assorted challenges to how it uses its power. Or doesn’t.
New York Times  Nov 22  Comment 
“Is the Federal Reserve up to the task of regulating financial institutions that are so large and complex?” the chairman of a Senate panel asked William C. Dudley.
MarketWatch  Nov 21  Comment 
Citigroup on Friday became one of the first financial institutions to push back its forecast of the Federal Reserve's first rate hike. In a research note to clients, William Lee, Citigroup's chief economist said the Fed won't move until December...
Forbes  Nov 21  Comment 
The US stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, is up over 11% so far in 2014.  Coming after a 30% gain in 2013, this year’s positive returns have caught many professional investors off guard.  The US stock market is a market of skepticism. ...
Wall Street Journal  Nov 21  Comment 
Sen. Elizabeth Warren told New York Fed president William Dudley to fix alleged lax oversight of big banks “or we need to get someone who will.”
Benzinga  Nov 21  Comment 
Lindsey Piegza, Sterne Agee's chief economist commented earlier this week on the Fed's October meeting minutes. While the minutes offered no specifics of a timeline for rate increases, it focused mostly on new barriers to rate hikes. “In...
Mondo Visione  Nov 21  Comment 
Chairman Levin, Ranking Member McCain, and other members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify at today's hearing. Let me begin by also thanking the subcommittee for its work on issues raised by the physical commodities...
Clusterstock  Nov 21  Comment 
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve will issue in the first quarter of next year a formal notice of rules it has been reviewing for financial holding companies and their activities in the physical commodities markets, a top official with...




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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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