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Full-text Search for "Federal Reserve System"
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Federal Reserve System definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: the central bank of the United States; incorporates 12 Federal Reserve branch banks and all national banks and state-chartered commercial banks and some trust companies; "the Fed seeks to control the United States economy by raising and lowering short-term interest rates and the money supply" [syn: Federal Reserve System, Federal Reserve, Fed, FRS]

Merriam Webster's

noun Date: 1919 the central banking system of the United States consisting of 12 districts with a Federal Reserve bank in the principal commercial city of each district

Britannica Concise

U.S. central bank system consisting of 12 Federal Reserve districts with a Reserve bank in the principal commercial city of each district. The system is supervised by a board of governors in Washington, D.C., as well as various advisory councils and committees. As a result of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, all national banks are required to join the system; state banks may join if they meet membership qualifications. The Federal Reserve is responsible for monetary policy. The original act set fixed reserve requirements for the U.S. fractional reserve banking system. It allowed each district bank to determine its discount rate, the rate it charged on loans to member banks. The modern Federal Reserve resulted from the Federal Reserve Act of 1935, which allowed the board to determine reserve requirements within defined limits. It became responsible for approving the discount rates of the district banks. Most importantly, the act created the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee, which is responsible for conducting operations in financial markets that increase or decrease the amount of reserves in the system. If the Federal Reserve wants to ease monetary policy, it will use open-market operations and increase the amount of reserves through the purchase of financial assets. Conversely, it can tighten monetary policy through the sale of financial assets.



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