What Is the Federal Reserve System?

What Is the Federal Reserve System?

The Federal Reserve System, often referred to as the Federal Reserve or simply "the Fed," is the central bank of the United States. It was created by the Congress to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve was created on December 23, 1913, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law.

What Does the Federal Reserve Do?

Today, the Federal Reserve's responsibilities fall into four general areas.

  • Influence Money and Credit in the Economy

    Conducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing money and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of full employment and stable prices.

  • Supervise and Regulate Banks

    Supervising and regulating banks and other important financial institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation's banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers.

  • Maintain Stability of the Financial System

    Maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets.

  • Provide Financial Services to the United States Government

    Providing certain financial services to the U.S. government, U.S. financial institutions, and foreign official institutions, and playing a major role in operating and overseeing the nation's payments systems.

Written and Published by: VanEd


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