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Melanie Dages

Federal Reserve's Role.

Monday, October 11, 2010 - Article by: Melanie Dages - Vectra Bank Colorado - Message

What Does the Federal Reserve Do Anyway? With the economy in the news every day, more attention is being focused on the Federal Reserve than ever before.The Federal Reserve System was created on December 23, 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson to act as the central bank of the United States. It was created to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary, banking and financial system.The Federal Reserve System is made up of twelve Federal Reserve Banks, overseen by the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is located in Washington DC and is comprised of just seven members, who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.The main responsibilities of the Fed include:oResearching US national and regional economiesoProviding financial services to depository institutions, the US government, and foreign official institutionsoSupervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety of the nation's financial system and protect the credit rights of consumersoConducting the nation's monetary policy by influencing the monetary and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest ratesoCommunicating information about the economy via publications, speeches, seminars and websites; including the statement given by Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke, following the eight formal meetings that take place about every six weeks throughout the year. At these meetings, the Fed has the opportunity to make changes to the Federal Funds Rate, and make their decision by reviewing economic and financial conditions. They can also make adjustments to the Fed Funds Rate outside of these meetings.Overall, the Fed's main responsibility is to keep the economy growing at a steady pace by keeping inflation stable and rates moderate. When inflation is low and stable, businesses and households can spend, knowing that their purchasing power can remain strong. Upcoming Fed meetings for this quarter are scheduled to take place on August 10 and 11 and September 21 and 22.

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