Federal Reserve

RECENT NEWS
Wall Street Journal  5 hrs ago  Comment 
Timothy Clark, a senior Federal Reserve staffer in charge of banking supervision, is retiring in the latest personnel change at the bank regulator.
Clusterstock  6 hrs ago  Comment 
For Federal Reserve officials, the sword may in fact be mightier than the pen. That's the finding of a new paper from Eric Swanson, a professor at the University of California at Irvine who is a former researcher at the San Francisco...
MarketWatch  8 hrs ago  Comment 
Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan said Monday two more rate hikes this year is still his baseline forecast for 2017.
BBC News  8 hrs ago  Comment 
Financial disparities between US households with different education levels are growing, says the Federal Reserve.
MarketWatch  10 hrs ago  Comment 
Treasury yields rose as investors watched the raft of Fed speakers to see if the U.S. central bank would stay on track to hike rates amid tepid first quarter economic numbers.
MarketWatch  11 hrs ago  Comment 
U.S. hiring improved and factories were busier last month, enough to overcome weaker consumer spending and drive up a broad measure of April national economic activity released Monday by the Chicago Federal Reserve.
Benzinga  May 22  Comment 
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index for April is schedule for release at 8:30 a.m. ET. Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari is set to speak in Minneapolis at 10:00 a.m. ET. Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank...
Clusterstock  May 22  Comment 
LONDON — The pound is struggling to stay above 1.30 against the dollar once again on Monday, treading water against the greenback, but pulling back from losses earlier in the day. Sterling passed above the psychologically significant $1.30...
New York Times  May 22  Comment 
Oil leaders will meet in Vienna to discuss ways to prop up prices, and the Federal Reserve will release meeting minutes from early May.




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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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