What is the federal reserve?

The Federal Reserve ("Fed") is the central bank of the United States of America. The Fed was created by Congress to provide a more stable and flexible monetary and financial system. Congress set up the Fed in 1913 when President Wilson signed it into law.

The Fed is split into 12 districts across the US, with a Federal Reserve Bank in each one, while the Board of Governors resides in Washington, and can be considered the Head Office. The board, which consists of seven governors, is currently lead by Chairwoman Janet Yellen and is responsible amongst other things for deciding monetary policy.

Five members of the board including the Chair are appointed by the President of the US, while the other two members are, by virtue of their office, the Secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency.

Federal Reserve Board of Governors

Head of FED Chair Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen


Vice-Chair Stanley Fischer

Stanley Fischer


Governor Daniel Tarullo

Daniel Tarullo


Governor Jerome H. Powell

Jerome H. Powell


Governor Lael Brainard

Lael Brainard


Governor Vacant Space



Governor Vacant Space



The Fed’s primary objective is to influence money and credit conditions in the search for full employment and low inflation by conducting an adequate national monetary policy. It achieves this through various policy tools at its disposal such as interest rates and money supply. The Fed also has other responsibilities which include the supervision and regulation the nation’s banks and financial institutions, containing systemic risk in financial markets, playing a major role in overseeing the national payment system, and providing certain services to foreign official and national US institutions.

Who owns the federal reserve?

The Federal Reserve System is operated via the 12 Federal Reserve Banks, established by Congress. Each Bank issues shares and ownership, an obligation for member banks within the system. The banks are operated as nonprofit organizations, and their shares of common stock cannot be used as a security, traded or sold. Congress does not fund the Fed, nor does Congress or the President have any say in monetary policy decisions made by the Fed. However, the Fed’s independence in policy decision making is still subject to the oversight of Congress.

FED History

The official federal reserve website is www.federalreserve.gov