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Federal Reserve Bank: Everything you need to know

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What is the Federal Reserve System?

The Federal Reserve Banking System (more commonly known as the Federal Reserve) is the central banking framework of the United States. The Federal Reserve was created in 1913 through the passing of the Federal Reserve act. This central banking system was established, largely in response to a number of financial panics.

From the time the Federal Reserve System was established, the roles and responsibilities of the entity have evolved. Presently, the Federal Reserve System conducts the nation’s monetary policy (to balance the economy) and provides financial services to America’s various depository institutions, the United States government and other foreign banking entities. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve System is required to supervise and regulate the aforementioned institutions and effectively “bail them out” through cash infusions if insolvency occurs.

The Federal Reserve System’s structure is composed of a Board of Governors (each member is appointed by a President), twelve regional Federal Reserve banks (located throughout the United States in various major cities, the Federal Open Market Committee and numerous privately owned member banks and various advisory councils. The Federal Open Market Committee is responsible for setting monetary policies. This board consists of seven members of the Board of Governors and the presidents of the twelve regional banks.

Because of this structure, the Federal Reserve System has both public and private aspects; the Federal Reserve System was designed to serve the interests of the general public, as well as private banking institutions.

What is the Federal Reserve Bank?

The Federal Reserve Bank of new York is one of 12 Reserve Banks in the United States of America. Located at 33 Liberty Street in New York City, the Federal Reserve serves the Second District of the Federal Reserve System. This district is comprised of New York State, Northern New Jersey, Fairfield County (Connecticut), the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

The Federal Reserve Bank implements monetary policy and regulates financial institutions in the aforementioned regions. The Federal Reserve Bank also maintains the country's payment system. The Federal Reserve Bank is the largest of the 12 regional institutions--it has the most assets and highest volume.

The New York Federal Reserve is a private bank responsible for conducting various market operation, including the buying and selling of outstanding treasury securities. The Federal Reserve Bank is also responsible for regulating exchange rate policy. The institution provides regulation through the buying and selling of dollars at the discretion of the United States Treasury Office. Because of this responsibility, the Federal Reserve Bank maintains a permanent vote on the Federal Open Market Committee.

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