The Federal Reserve Definition and Information

The Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve is the central banking system of the United States of America. The Federal Reserve was officially opened on December 23, 1913 together with the Federal Reserve Act. The Federal Reserve prints money and is privately owned.

The mandate of the Federal Reserve, or “the Fed” as it is commonly called, is to maintain employment, maintain current market prices, and maintain interest rates by regulating US monetary policy. The Federal Reserve supervises banks; provides financial services, and researches and reports on the US economy and international economies.

The Federal Reserve also controls American monetary policy, supervises and regulates banks, maintains stability of the American financial system and provides financial services to institutions, and the American government.

The history of a federal reserve dates back to the early days of the USA when it was merely a colony. In 1690, the Massachusetts Bay Colony became the first colony to issue paper money in what would eventually become the United States of America. The demand for currency in the colonies was due to the scarcity of coins, which was the primary means of trade.

The first attempt at a national American currency was during the American Revolutionary War. In 1775 the Continental Congress issued paper currency. In 1791 the American government opened the First Bank of the United States. The Second Bank of the United States opened in 1816. It ceased being the central bank of the U.S. A. when its charter expired. The third national bank, the Federal Reserve, opened in 1913. On December 23, 1913, the Federal Reserve System, the USA’s central bank, was created by an act of Congress. The Federal Reserve System consists of a seven member Board of Governors. The headquarters are in Washington, D.C. There are twelve Reserve Banks in cities throughout the USA.

Members of the Board meet with officials of other government agencies, representatives of banking industry groups, officials of the central banks of other countries, members of Congress and academicians. Governors meet with executives of the international monetary system and with bankers of foreign countries. They are in regular communication with the heads of the U.S. agencies that decide foreign loans and foreign spending.

The Federal Reserve System, through its Community Affairs program, has outreach services; educational and technical assistance programs to aid financial institutions, community-based organizations, government entities, and the general public. They also help consumers with everything from credit reports, to foreclosures, to mortgages, deposit insurance and warn the public about fraud and scams. They also provide economic education for teachers and students.

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