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Federal Reserve System (The Fed)
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Organization
    (December 13, 1913- )
    Born in United States
    Created by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913
    Its duties are:
    1. Conducting 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 rates
    2. Supervising and regulating banking institutions to ensure the safety and soundness of the nation's banking and financial system and to protect the credit rights of consumers
    3. Maintaining the stability of the financial system and containing systemic risk that may arise in financial markets
    4. Providing financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government, and foreign official institutions, including playing a major role in operating the nation's payments system
    The current Central Bank of the United States of America
    Past Fed Chairmen include: Alan Greenspan, Paul A. Volcker, Marriner Stoddard Eccles, Aurtur F. Burns and Charles S. Hamlin
    Current Fed Chairman (as of 2009): Ben Bernanke
    It uses monetary policy to control the US economy which can create benefits and consequences for both the US and the world.
    It causes inflation and devalues the US dollar whenever it increases the money supply.
    According to economists Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz, the Fed made the Great Depression even worse by restricting the money supply.
    It caused the US housing bubble and the recession that followed.
    It is not legal according to the US Constitution which states only Congress can print/coin money and that the US government cannot establish a central bank.
    Because it is headquartered in New York City, people often complain that New York City has too much influence on US banking.
    Those who follow the Austrian School of Economics such as Friedrich Hayek and Murray Rothbard hold the Fed responsible for causing the Great Depression and all recessions that followed.
    It has never been fully audited by the Government Accountability Office during its existence.
    It was created to prevent more financial crises like the Panic of 1907.
    It keeps banks under control most of the time and lends money to the US government whenever it needs to spend without raising taxes.
    Its chairman Ben Bernanke has been more open about its policies with both Congress and the American people than his predecessors.
    Thanks to people like Ron Paul and the recent recession, Americans are more aware of the Fed and its policies than in previous decades.

Credit: Jeff


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