The Federal Reserve Board eagle logo links to home page

System Publication. The Federal Reserve System Purposes and Functions.

A publication of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

This book is available in Adobe Acrobat format, as a complete publication or by chapter.

*The accessible versions of this document are found in the individual chapters below.

Complete publication

(2.7 MB PDF)


Overview of the Federal Reserve System

Structure of the System
    Board of Governors
    Federal Reserve Banks
    Federal Open Market Committee
    Member Banks
    Advisory Committees


Monetary Policy and the Economy

Goals of Monetary Policy
How Monetary Policy Affects the Economy
Limitations of Monetary Policy
Guides to Monetary Policy
    Monetary Aggregates
    Interest Rates
    The Taylor Rule
    Foreign Exchange Rates


The Implementation of Monetary Policy

The Market for Federal Reserve Balances
    Demand for Federal Reserve Balances
    Supply of Federal Reserve Balances
Controlling the Federal Funds Rate
Open Market Operations
    Composition of the Federal Reserve's Portfolio
    The Conduct of Open Market Operations
    A Typical Day in the Conduct of Open Market Operations
    Securities Lending
Reserve Requirements
    Recent History of Reserve Requirements
Contractual Clearing Balances
The Discount Window
    Types of Credit
    Eligibility to Borrow
    Discount Window Collateral


The Federal Reserve in the International Sphere

International Linkages
Foreign Currency Operations
    U.S. Foreign Currency Resources
International Banking


Supervision and Regulation

Responsibilities of the Federal Banking Agencies
Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council
Supervisory Process
    Risk-Focused Supervision
    Supervisory Rating System
    Financial Regulatory Reports
    Off-Site Monitoring
    Accounting Policy and Disclosure
    Umbrella Supervision and Coordination with Other Functional Regulators
    Anti-Money-Laundering Program
    Business Continuity
    Other Supervisory Activities
    Supervision of International Operations of U.S. Banking Organizations
    Supervision of U.S. Activities of Foreign Banking Organizations
    Supervision of Transactions with Affiliates
Regulatory Functions
    Acquisitions and Mergers
    Other Changes in Bank Control
    Formation and Activities of Financial Holding Companies
    Capital Adequacy Standards
    Financial Disclousres by State Member Banks
    Securities Credit


Consumer and Community Affairs

Consumer Protection
    Writing and Interpreting Regulations
    Educating Consumers about Consumer Protection Laws
    Enforcing Consumer Protection Laws
    Consumer Complaint Program
Community Affairs
Consumer Protection Laws


The Federal Reserve in the U.S. Payments System

Financial Services
    Retail Services
    Wholesale Services
Fiscal Agency Services
International Services
Federal Reserve Intraday Credit Policy



A    Federal Reserve Regulations
B    Glossary of Terms




Home | About the Fed
Accessibility | Contact Us
Last update: April 24, 2013