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The Federal Reserve: CNBC Explains

The Federal Reserve System—or the “Fed” as it’s known—arguably plays the most crucial role in the U.S. economy.

Yet most people have little idea how the Fed works, what it actually does and why its decisions have so much impact. Here are the details.

What is the Federal Reserve?

The Fed is the gatekeeper of the U.S. economy [1] and is part of the federal government.

Based in Washington, D.C., the Fed is the bank of the U.S. government and regulates the nation’s financial institutions. It’s comprised of a network of 12 Federal Reserve Banks and a number of branches. This is all overseen by the Fed’s Board of Governors, which we’ll detail a little later.

Besides being the nation’s central bank, the Fed studies economic trends and makes policy decisions on how to make the economy “run better.”

The Fed is an independent agency—which means it can make decisions on its own, without needing approval from any other branch of government. However, it is subject to questions from Congress over its actions. The Federal Reserve chairman regularly testifies to both the Senate and the House.

But while the Fed has to explain itself, it is theoretically free from political pressure. One caveat on this ‘freedom’—Fed board members are nominated by the President and must be approved by the Senate.

CNBC [2]

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

Craig Erlam

Craig Erlam [6]

Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA at OANDA [7]
Based in London, Craig Erlam joined OANDA in 2015 as a market analyst. With many years of experience as a financial market analyst and trader, he focuses on both fundamental and technical analysis while producing macroeconomic commentary. His views have been published in the Financial Times, Reuters, The Telegraph and the International Business Times, and he also appears as a regular guest commentator on the BBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business and SKY News. Craig holds a full membership to the Society of Technical Analysts and is recognised as a Certified Financial Technician by the International Federation of Technical Analysts.
Craig Erlam
Craig Erlam

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