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110 Years - The Federal Reserve


The Federal Reserve System was created on December 23, 1913.


Today, the Federal Reserve sets the nation’s monetary policy, supervises and regulates banking institutions, maintains the stability of the financial system, and provides financial services to depository institutions, the U.S. government and foreign official institutions.


Selecting the Reserve Bank Locations

Once the Federal Reserve Act was approved, a Reserve Bank Organization Committee was assembled to determine which cities would become home to the Federal Reserve Banks. About 20 hearings were held in Chicago and in various cities across the country to take statements about the benefits of differnent locations. Both the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Agriculture were in attendance at the meeting held in Chicago on January 19, 1914.


The Structure of the Federal Reserve in 1914

Following the hearings and testimony, the Committee requested correspondence from banks and businesses to determine their preferred Reserve District. Businesses represented ranged from piano manufacturers to steel foundries to upholstery firms. Banks from Chicago to Bloomington, IN, to Sioux City, IA, sent letters, some hand written, to name their location choice for their Reserve Bank. On April 2, 1914, the final locations were announced. And, on May 27, 1914, those letters were answered when member banks were announced for each Reserve Bank.


System Structure (source of the below information:


To understand how the Fed works you must know its structure. The Federal Reserve System has three components:


  • Board of Governors: The Board of Governors directs monetary policy. Its seven members are responsible for setting the discount rate and the reserve requirement for member banks. Staff economists provide all analyses, including the monthly Beige Book and the semi-annual Monetary Report to Congress.


  • Federal Reserve Banks: The Federal Reserve Banks work with the board to supervise commercial banks and implement policy. There is a Fed bank located in each of the 12 Fed districts.


  • Federal Open Market Committee: The FOMC oversees open market operations. That includes setting the target for the fed fund rates, which guides interest rates. The seven board members, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and four of the remaining 11 bank presidents are members. The FOMC meets eight times a year.


What the Federal Reserve Does

The Federal Reserve has four functions. Its most critical and visible function is to manage inflation and maintain stable prices. It sets a 2% inflation target for the core inflation rate.

Managing inflation is so critical because ongoing inflation is like a cancer that destroys any benefits of growth.

Second, the Fed supervises and regulates many of the nation’s banks to protect consumers. Third, it maintains the stability of the financial markets and constrains potential crises. Fourth, it provides banking services to other banks, the U.S. government, and foreign banks.


The Fed performs its functions by conducting monetary policy. The goal of monetary policy is healthy economic growth. That target is a 2%-3% gross domestic product growth rate. It also pursues maximum employment. The goal is the natural rate of unemployment of 4.7% to 5.8%.


1. Manages Inflation

The Federal Reserve controls inflation by managing credit, the largest component of the money supply. This is why people say the Fed prints money. The Fed moderates long-term interest rates through open market operations and the fed funds rate. When there is no risk of inflation, the Fed makes credit cheap by lowering interest rates. This increases liquidity and spurs business growth. That ultimately reduces unemployment. The Fed monitors inflation through the core inflation rate, as measured by the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index. It strips out volatile food and gas prices from the regular inflation rate. (Food and gas prices rise in the summer and fall in the winter, and that's too fast for the Fed to manage.)

The Federal Reserve uses what's known as expansionary monetary policy when it lowers interest rates. The intent is to expand credit and liquidity.

Expansionary policy makes the economy grow faster and create jobs. If the economy grows too much, though, it triggers inflation. When that happens, the Federal Reserve raises interest rates as part of contractionary monetary policy. High interest rates make borrowing expensive. Increased loan costs slow growth and lower the likelihood of businesses raising prices. The Fed has many powerful tools at its disposal. It sets the reserve requirement for the nation's banks, telling them what percentage of their deposits they must actually have on hand each night. The rest can be loaned out.

If a bank doesn't have enough cash on hand at the end of the day, it borrows what it needs from other banks. The funds it borrows are known as the fed funds. Banks charge each other the fed funds rate on these loans.

The FOMC sets the target for the fed funds rate at its monthly meetings. To keep it near its target, the Fed uses open market operations to buy or sell securities from its member banks. It creates credit out of thin air to buy these securities. This has the same effect as printing money. That adds to the reserves the banks can lend and results in the lowering of the fed funds rate. Knowledge of the current fed funds rate is important because this rate is a benchmark in financial markets.


2. Supervises the Banking System

The Federal Reserve oversees roughly 5,000 bank holding companies, 850 state bank members of the Federal Reserve Banking System, and any foreign banks operating in the U.S. The Federal Reserve Banking System is a network of 12 Federal Reserve banks that both supervise and serve as banks for all the commercial banks in their region.3

The 12 banks are located in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Dallas, and San Francisco. The Reserve Banks serve the U.S. Treasury by handling its payments, selling government securities, and assisting with its cash management and investment activities. Reserve banks also conduct valuable research on economic issues. After the financial crisis of 2008, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act strengthened the Fed's power over banks. Dodd-Frank said if any bank became too big to fail, it could be turned over to Federal Reserve supervision and required to have a bigger reserve to protect against losses.

In fact, the Fed was given the mandate to supervise "systematically important institutions," and in 2015, it created the Large Institution Supervision Coordinating Committee. This committee regulates the 16 largest banks, and most importantly, is responsible for the annual stress test of 31 banks. These tests determine whether the banks have enough capital to continue making loans even if the system falls apart the same way it did in October 2008.

In 2018, President Donald Trump signed a bill that weakened Dodd-Frank by easing regulations on smaller banks.

The law, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, rolled back a number of rules for small banks. The Fed can't designate these banks as too big to fail, and these banks no longer have to hold as much in assets to protect against a cash crunch. They also may not be subject to the Fed's "stress tests."

In addition, smaller banks no longer have to comply with the so-called Volcker Rule. Now banks with less than $10 billion in assets can, once again, use depositors' funds for risky investments.


3. Maintains the Stability of the Financial System

The Federal Reserve worked closely with the Treasury Department to prevent global financial collapse during the financial crisis of 2008. It created many new tools, including the Term Auction Facility, the Money Market Investor Funding Facility, and Quantitative Easing.

Two decades earlier, the Federal Reserve intervened in the Long Term Capital Management Crisis. Federal Reserve actions worsened the Great Depression of 1929 by tightening the money supply to defend the gold standard.


4. Provides Banking Services

When the Fed buys U.S. Treasurys from the federal government, it's called monetizing the debt. The Fed creates the money it uses to buy the Treasurys. It adds that much money to the money supply. Over the past 10 years, the Fed has acquired $4 trillion in Treasurys.

The Fed is called the "bankers' bank." That is because each Reserve bank stores currency, processes checks, and makes loans for its members to meet their reserve requirements when needed. These loans are made through the discount window and are charged the discount rate, one that is set at the FOMC meeting. This rate is lower than the fed funds rate and Libor. Most banks avoid using the discount window because there is a stigma attached. It is assumed the bank can't get loans from other banks. That's why the Federal Reserve is known as the bank of last resort.



The Panic of 1907 spurred President Woodrow Wilson to create the Federal Reserve System. He called for a National Monetary Commission to evaluate the best response to prevent ongoing financial panics, bank failures, and business bankruptcies. Congress passed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 on December 23 of that year.

Congress originally designed the Fed to "provide for the establishment of Federal Reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the U.S., and for other purposes." Since then, Congress has enacted legislation to amend the Fed's powers and purpose.

Congress created the Fed's board structure to ensure its independence from politics. Board members serve staggered terms of 14 years each. The president appoints a new one every two years. The U.S. Senate confirms them. If the staggered schedule is followed, then no president or congressional party majority can control the board.

The Fed's independence is critical. With autonomy, the central bank can focus on long-term economic goals, making decisions based solely on economic indicators. No president can pressure members to keep interest rates low and overstimulate the economy.President Trump was the first president in history to question the Fed's independence. In 2018, Trump publicly criticized the Fed for raising interest rates. He said higher rates slow growth and offset his attempts to spur the economy. When asked to name the single greatest threat to growth, he blamed the Fed.

This is despite the fact that Trump nominated six of the seven members. The Senate has confirmed three of them. Trump inherited this rare opportunity to stack the Fed board in his favor. The chair position came up for reappointment during his term. Three board positions were already vacant, including the vice-chair position. Two of them have been vacant since the financial crisis.


Who Owns the Fed

Technically, member commercial banks own the Federal Reserve. They hold shares of the 12 Federal Reserve banks. But that doesn't give them any power because they don't vote. Instead, the Board and FOMC make the Fed's decisions based on research. The president, U.S. Treasury Department, and Congress don't ratify its decisions, although the board members are selected by the president and approved by Congress. This gives elected officials control over the Fed's long-term direction but not its day-to-day operations.Some elected officials are still suspicious of the Fed and its ownership. They want to abolish it altogether. Senator Rand Paul wants to control it by auditing it more thoroughly. His father, former Congressman Ron Paul, wanted to end the Fed.


Role of the Fed Chair

The chairman of the Federal Reserve sets the direction and tone of both the Federal Reserve Board and the FOMC. The current chairman is Jerome Powell, who President Trump appointed to lead from February 5, 2018, to February 5, 2022.

The former chair is Janet Yellen. Her term ran from 2014 to 2018. Her biggest concern was unemployment, which made her more likely to want to lower interest rates. She was more "dovish" than “hawkish,” but ironically, she was the chair when the economy required contractionary monetary policy.

Ben Bernanke was the chair from 2006 to 2014. He was an expert on the Fed's role during the Great Depression, which was very fortunate. He knew the steps to take to end the Great Recession, and he kept the economic situation from turning into a depression.

Inspiration to achieve


Stephen Covey

Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that

fire under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.

Zig Ziglar

People often say that motivation doesn't last.

Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.

Helen Keller

One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.

Louisa May Alcott

Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them,

but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

Raymond Hollingwell

Desire creates the power.

Thomas Watson

To be successful, have your heart in your business

and your business in your heart.

Mike Ditka

The ones who want to acheive and win championships

motivate themselves.

Brendan Francis

Inspirations never go in for long engagements;

they demand immediate marriage to action.


Reaching Your Goals


Charles E. Wilson

The thing that contributes to anyone's reaching the goal

he wants is simple wanting that goal badly enough.

Casey Kasem

Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.


Man is a goal seeking animal. His life only has meaning if

he is reaching out and striving for his goals.

Charles L. Allen

Why should you be content with so little?

Why shouldn't you reach out for something big?

Russel H. Conwell

Many of us spend our lives searching for success when

it is usually so close that we can reach out and touch it.


Positive Thinking


Albert Schweitzer

The future of civilization depends on our overcoming the meaninglessness

and hopelessness that characterizes the thoughts of men today.

Lloyd John Ogilvie

Expect the dawn of a new beginning in the dark nights of life.

John Milton

The mind is its own place, and in itself,

can make heaven of Hell, and a hell of Heaven.

Bruce Barton

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences

come from little things… I am tempted to think… there are no little things.

Mary Kay Ash

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly,

but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway.

Bernhard Berenson

Miracles happen to those who believe in them.

Napoleon Hill

There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge.

Zig Ziglar

The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things

you have, the more you will have to express gratitude for.

Walter Bagehot

A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Henry David Thoreau

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined

Source: Think and Grow Rich



…Both success and failure are largely the results of HABIT!


Name Your Price

(Fannie Hurst was a prominent novelist who lived from 1889-1968)

Fannie Hurst came to New York in 1915, to convert writing into riches. The conversion did not come quickly, BUT IT CAME. For four years Miss Hurst learned about “The Sidewalks of New York” from first hand experience. She spent her days laboring, and her nights HOPING. When hope grew dim, she did not say, “Alright Broadway, you win!” She said, “Very well, Broadway, you may whip some, but not me. I’m going to force you to give up.”


One publisher (The Saturday Evening Post) sent her thirty-six rejection slips, before she “broke the ice” and got a story across. The average writer, like the “average” in other walks of life, would have given up the job when the first rejection slip came. She pounded the pavements for four years to the tune of the publisher’s “NO,” because she was determined to win.


Then came the “payoff.” The spell had been broken, the unseen Guide had tested Fannie Hurst, and she could take it. From that time on publishers made a beaten path to her door. Money came so fast she hardly had time to count it. Then the moving picture [motion picture] men discovered her, and money came not in small change, but in floods. The moving picture rights to her latest novel, “Great Laughter,” brought $100,000.00, said to be the highest price ever paid for a story before publication. Her royalties from the sale of the book probably will run much more.


Briefly, you have a description of what PERSISTENCE is capable of achieving. Fannie Hurst is no exception. Wherever men and women accumulate great riches, you may be sure they first acquired PERSISTENCE. Broadway will give any beggar a cup of coffee and a sandwich, but it demands PERSISTENCE of those who go after the big stakes.


Do What You Like

No person can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like. The most essential step in the marketing of personal services is that of selecting an occupation into which you can throw yourself wholeheartedly.



Discipline comes through self-control. This means that one must control all negative qualities. Self-mastery is the hardest job you will ever tackle. If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self. You may see at one and the same time both your best friend and your greatest enemy, by stepping in front of a mirror.

Your Vision

Being a visionary means having a vision that is so powerful that it

  • pulls you out of bed in the morning with passion and a sense of destiny,
  • gives you the clarity that makes all your decisions, easy,
  • give you unshakable confidence with everyone
  • forces everyone--even adversaries-- to listen to what you say,
  • inspires everyone around you to "move mountains" to accomplish your vision

Just imagine building your business with the kind of world-moving vision and sense of destiny that a Visionary has!

  • How many more clients would be eager to hire your company.
  • How many more high-performers would be dying to work for you.
  • How many more investors would believe in you--with their pocket books.


Think about it. If you have a powerful vision, you'll do whatever it takes to succeed. You'll pay the price, you'll take the risks, you'll venture into the unknown, you'll stop at nothing to make your vision a reality.

Vision is the #1 factor that determines your success or failure as an entrepreneur.

"Don't Leave Your Vision To Chance!"

As an entrepreneur, no one taught you about vision. For you it was as natural as dreaming. You asked yourself "What if?" and you saw a dream. Then you asked, "How can I?" and you saw a vision.

You saw how this vision would be good for you and for the world, and the rest is history. You took bold action, started your business, and now you won't rest until your vision becomes reality.

It is heroic entrepreneurs and visionaries like you who shape history. As an entrepreneur and leader, your vision will affect dozens, if not hundreds, thousands or millions. So don't leave it to chance.

Until now, you had little choice. Vision was thought to be like athletic ability. Either you had it or you didn't, but unlike sports, vision couldn't be taught. Now you have a choice. A choice like the one Michael Jordan faced. He could have coasted with his given ability and talent, and he would have always been better than most basketball players.

Or he could practice the fundamentals of basketball and master it.

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