federal reserve

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Seal of United States Federal Reserve System


The Federal Reserve System Purposes and functions

The Federal Reserve System


Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Washington, D.C.

First Edition, May 1939 Second Edition, November 1947

Third Edition, April 1954 Fourth Edition, February 1961 Fifth Edition, December 1963 Sixth Edition, September 1974

Seventh Edition, December 1984 Eighth Edition, December 1994

Ninth Edition, June 2005

Library of Congress Control Number 39026719

Copies of this book may be obtained from Publications Fulfillment, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Washington, D C 20551.

Publications Committee Lynn S. Fox, Chair, Scott G. Alvarez, Sandra Braunstein, Marianne M. Emerson, Jennifer J. Johnson, Karen H. Johnson, Stephen R . Malphrus, Vincent R . Reinhart, Louise L. Roseman, Richard Spillenkothen, and David J. Stockton

Purposes and Functions is published under the direction of the staff Publications Committee. It is assisted by the Publications Department, under the direction of Lucretia M. Boyer.


This is the ninth edition of T h e Federal Reserve System: Purposes and Functions. It has been revised by staff members of the Federal Reserve Board to reflect the changes that have taken place in the monetary, regulatory, and other policy areas since publication of the eighth edition in 1994. It incorporates major changes in the law and in the structure of the financial system that have occurred over the past decade.

The Board's Publications Committee had overall responsibility for the prep- aration of this edition. Major contributions were made by the following:

Division of Research and Statistics Thomas D. Simpson

Division of Monetary Affairs Cheryl L. Edwards, William R. Nelson, Seth B. Carpenter, and Selva Demiralp

Division of International Finance Joseph E. Gagnon

Division of Banking Supervision and Regulation Richard Spillenkothen, Virginia M. Gibbs, and Greg Feldberg...