- The Federal Reserve System (also the Federal Reserve; informally The Fed) is the central banking system of theMessage 1 of 4 , Apr 14, 2009View SourceThe Federal Reserve System (also the Federal Reserve; informally The Fed) is the central banking system of the United States. Created in 1913 by the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, it is a quasi-public (government entity with private components) banking system that comprises (1) the presidentially appointed Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C.; (2) the Federal Open Market Committee; (3) twelve regional privately-owned Federal Reserve Banks located in major cities throughout the nation acting as fiscal agents for the U.S. Treasury, each with its own nine-member board of directors; (4) numerous other private U.S. member banks, which subscribe to required amounts of non-transferable stock in their regional Federal Reserve Banks; and (5) various advisory councils. Since February 2006, Ben Bernanke serves as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Donald Kohn is the current Vice Chairman (Term: June 2006 - June 2010).
Balance between private banks and responsibility of governments
The system was designed out of a compromise between the competing philosophies of privatization and government regulation. While planning the design of the system, some people wanted the system to have generally private aspects whereas others wanted more government involvement. The system that resulted ended up being a compromise between these two philosophies. In 2006 Donald L. Kohn, vice chairman of the Board of Governors, summarized the history of this compromise:
Agrarian and progressive interests, led by William Jennings Bryan, favored a central bank under public, rather than banker, control. But the vast majority of the nation's bankers, concerned about government intervention in the banking business, opposed a central bank structure directed by political appointees.
The legislation that Congress ultimately adopted in 1913 reflected a hard-fought battle to balance these two competing views and created the hybrid public-private, centralized-decentralized structure that we have today.
In the current system, private banks are for-profit businesses but government regulation places restrictions on what they can do. The Federal Reserve System is the part of government that regulates the private banks. The balance between privatization and government involvement is also seen in the structure of the system. Private banks elect members of the board of directors at their regional Federal Reserve Bank while the members of the Board of Governors are selected by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The private banks give input to the government officials about their economic situation and these government officials use this input in Federal Reserve policy decisions. In the end, private banking businesses are able to run a profitable business while the U.S. government, through the Federal Reserve System, oversees and regulates the activities of the private banks.
--- In email@example.com, "SKYGZR" <skygzr@...> wrote:
> The Federal Reserve Website has a .gov suffix? They ARE NOT a GOV ENTITY!!