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Word Count: 957
Federal Reserve System is an independent agency of the United States government that helps oversee the nations banking system The Federal Reserve System is known as the central bank of the United States Its most important job is to assist the US government in managing the economy by encouraging economic growth and controlling inflation It pursues these goals by influencing interest rates and the availability of money and loans The program the Fed follows in influencing interest rates is called its monetary policy The Fed also performs many financial services for the federal government and provides numerous services to commercial banks History Congress established the Fed in 1913 to provide a flexible currency for the nation and to strengthen the supervision of the banking system By the mid-1930s Congress gave the Fed authority to set reserve and margin requirements Organization The Fed has 12 Federal Reserve Banks and 25 Federal Reserve Bank branches Each Federal Reserve Bank FRB operates in one of the countrys 12 Federal Reserve districts Most districts have from one to five FRB branches each of which offers many of the services that FRBs provide Banks in the FRS use their FRB much as people use a bank in their community All national commercial banks are required by law to be members of the Fed Membership is optional for state-chartered banks But all deposit-taking institutions are subject to Fed requirements regarding a certain amount of deposits that cannot be used for loans Two main committees direct Fed policies They are the Board of Governors and the Federal Open Market Committee The Board of Governors administers the system It has seven members Each member is appointed by the President of the United States to a 14-year term subject to the consent of the US Senate The President names one member to serve as chairman for four years The Federal Open Market Committee makes the main decisions on Fed monetary policies It
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