The Federal Reserve System, also known as the "Fed," is the central bank of the United States. The Fed was established in 1913 with the passage of the Federal Reserve Act, signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson.
The Fed is responsible for conducting monetary policy, which involves managing the money supply and interest rates to promote a healthy economy.
The Fed is composed of 12 regional banks, each with its own board of directors and president, as well as a seven-member Board of Governors in Washington, D.C.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is the Fed's main policy-making body, responsible for setting the target for the federal funds rate and other key interest rates.
The Board of Governors is appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. The Fed also regulates and supervises banks and other financial institutions to ensure they operate safely and soundly.
The Fed is responsible for the oversight of payment systems and services, such as the clearing and settlement of checks and electronic payments. The Fed is tasked with maintaining the stability of the financial system and monitoring systemic risk.
The Fed is the lender of last resort, providing loans to banks and other financial institutions during times of crisis to prevent a collapse of the financial system.
The Fed is independent from the federal government, but it is accountable to Congress and subject to oversight by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).