Federal Reserve

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SeekingAlpha  11 hrs ago  Comment 
By Russ Koesterich, CFA: While stocks retreated on Friday following a confrontation on the Ukrainian border, equities pushed ahead last week. Part of the advance can be attributed to a perception, at least until Friday, that geopolitical risks in...
Yahoo  12 hrs ago  Comment 
A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Monday urged the Federal Reserve to restrict its crisis lending programs for big banks, which were criticized as bailouts during the 2007-2009 meltdown. During the crisis, the Fed invoked its emergency lending...
Clusterstock  Aug 18  Comment 
All eyes are on Janet Yellen this week as she gives her speech to the Kansas City Fed's Economic Policy Symposium. Traders will be listening to the Fed chair for any clues that might reveal the timing and direction of monetary. But Bank of...
Yahoo  Aug 18  Comment 
Paul Schatz of Heritage Capital says the Fed should have waited until after the next recession to start tapering.
newratings.com  Aug 18  Comment 
CANBERA (dpa-AFX) - Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday as caution set in after five days of gains. Another bout of tensions in Ukraine and muted U.S. cues sapped risk appetite as investors await the release of the minutes from the Bank of England...
Yahoo  Aug 18  Comment 
Some of this has been driven by an improving economic outlook, which counter-intuitively is a negative, since it risks bringing forward the timing of the Federal Reserve’s first interest rate hike since 2006. Another catalyst has been the...
Yahoo  Aug 18  Comment 
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has a stubborn warning light blinking on her labor market dashboard: A group of Americans larger than Washington state's population can find only part-time work. As Yellen heads to this week's Fed symposium in...
SeekingAlpha  Aug 17  Comment 
By Harini Dedhia: The investment community watches with great avidity when the capacity utilization number is released by the Federal Reserve Board every month hoping it serves as an indicator of the nation's economic health. However, the numbers...
Wall Street Journal  Aug 17  Comment 
Many economists fear the Fed will wait too long before raising interest rates, but officials believe markets and economic indicators aren't signaling an economy near overheating.




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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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