Federal Reserve System

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Monetary policy
The Federal Reserve System


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The Federal Reserve System (also known as the Federal Reserve, and informally as The Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. It was created in 1913 with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, and was largely a response to a series of financial panics, particularly a severe panic in 1907.[1][2][3] Over time, the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve System have expanded and its structure has evolved.[2][4] Events such as the Great Depression were major factors leading to changes in the system.[5] Its duties today, according to official Federal Reserve documentation, are to conduct the nation's monetary policy, supervise and regulate banking institutions, maintain the stability of the financial system and provide financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions.[6]

The Federal Reserve System's structure is composed of the presidentially appointed Board of Governors (or Federal Reserve Board), the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation, numerous other private U.S. member banks and various advisory councils.[7][8][9] The FOMC is the committee responsible for setting monetary policy and consists of all seven members of the Board of Governors and the twelve regional bank presidents, though only five bank presidents vote at any given time. The division of responsibilities of the central bank falls into several separate and independent parts, some private and some public. The result is a structure that is considered unique among central banks. It is also unusual in that an entity (the United States Department of the Treasury) outside of the central bank creates the currency used.[10]

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