Federal Reserve

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MarketWatch  1 hr ago  Comment 
The U.S. Federal Reserve must keep hiking interest rates gradually to avoid overheating in the U.S. economy, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said in the text of a speech to be delivered Monday. "[Gradually] raising...
Channel News Asia  5 hrs ago  Comment 
TOKYO: Asian shares edged up on Monday on optimism about global growth, while the dollar was on the defensive as a subdued U.S. inflation outlook capped U.S. bond yields and raised questions about the Federal Reserve's plans to tighten...
WA Business News  10 hrs ago  Comment 
The Australian dollar is hardly changed against its US counterpart even as the greenback weakens slightly amid mixed data and comments from the Federal Reserve.
Wall Street Journal  Jun 25  Comment 
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday will release the final results of this year’s bank stress tests. Officials made the tests easier for some banks this year, and for the next time around they are preparing to further change the exams in...
Forbes  Jun 24  Comment 
We have had a total of four rate hikes since the Fed lifted rates in December 2015. However, the Federal Reserve has failed to impact the expectations of the bond market and today. US macroeconomic data remains solid while price pressures are...
SeekingAlpha  Jun 24  Comment 
Channel News Asia  Jun 23  Comment 
U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as oil prices edged up and ahead of economic data and speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers.
Mondo Visione  Jun 23  Comment 
Thank you for inviting me to speak today.1 The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Darrell Duffie have provided a valuable public service in hosting this annual symposium on central clearing. I will start my remarks by taking stock of the...




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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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