Federal Reserve

EconMatters  4 hrs ago  Comment 
By  Michael Snyder     According to the Federal Reserve, the percentage of American families that own a small business is at the lowest level that has ever been recorded.  In a report that was just released entitled "Changes in U.S....
Wall Street Journal  4 hrs ago  Comment 
Ahead of the Tape: Some credit the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program with rescuing an economy on the brink. Its beneficial effect on the U.S. deficit is easier to prove.
newratings.com  5 hrs ago  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - The dollar continued to rise versus the yen on Wednesday but finally leveled off against the sterling ahead of a crucial vote on Scottish independence. Expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise rates coupled with...
New York Times  7 hrs ago  Comment 
Central bankers have seen signs of market exuberance, but the Federal Reserve has been slow to pop the bubbles, Jesse Eisinger writes in The Trade.
Market Intelligence Center  9 hrs ago  Comment 
After the Open... Stocks began falling in morning trading, though no particular news is pushing the market, except perhaps for some comments on Tuesday by Daniel Tarullo, the Federal Reserve governor, said that the Fed would probably soon increase...
Bloomberg  11 hrs ago  Comment 
Nasdaq 100 Climbs as Apple Rebounds to Lift Tech Shares U.S. stocks rose, with the Nasdaq 100 Index recovering almost all of yesterday’s losses, as a rally in Apple Inc....
Yahoo  Sep 10  Comment 
Federal Reserve officials are considering whether to alter their guidance on the likely path of interest rates to give them more flexibility to react to changes in the economy. The Fed has said since March that its benchmark rate would stay low...
MarketWatch  Sep 10  Comment 
U.S. stocks rise Wednesday, bouncing back from morning losses, as Apple and other tech stocks help lead the way higher.
Reuters  Sep 10  Comment 
The rupee fell for a second consecutive session on Wednesday, posting its worst back-to-back falls in more than a month, as continued worries of an earlier-than-expected rate increase by the U.S. Federal Reserve weighed on emerging-market assets.
The Economic Times  Sep 10  Comment 
Apple's decline and higher bond yields pushed stocks down. The S&P 500 lost 0.7, the Dow fell 0.6 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.9 per cent.


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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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