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Ap Macroeconomics Module 26 Essay

852 words - 3 pages

Mod 26 - The Federal Reserve System: History and StructureThe Federal Reserve System:• A central bank is an institution that oversees and regulates the banking system and controls the monetary base.An Overview of the Twenty-First Century American Banking SystemCrisis in American Banking at the Turn of the Twentieth Century• In the early 20th century there were national banks, and trusts, that were bank like institutions that accepted deposits, but were originally intended to manage only inheritances and estates for wealthy clients. They were supposed to engage in low risk activity so they were less regulated and monitored.• They had a good reputation and because they were less regulated they were able to give higher returns, so soon people started putting a lot of money into trusts.• The Knickerbocker trust failed in 1907 when it suffered losses from bad speculation in the stock market. People began pulling all of their money out and soon a dozen major trusts in NYC had failed.• JP Morgan and John D Rockefeller stepped in along with the US Secretary of the Treasury to shore up the reserves of banks so they could withstand the withdrawals.• The whole process took a little more than a week, but lead to a four year recession.• Production fell 11% and unemployment rose from 3% to 8%.Responding to Banking Crises: The Creation of the Federal Reserve• In 1913 the national banking system was created as a way to compel all deposit taking institutions to hold adequate reserves and to open their accounts to inspection by regulators.• The Fed was given the sole right to issue currency in order to make the money supply sufficiently responsive to satisfy economic conditions around the country.The Structure of the Fed• Two parts: the board of Governors and the 12 regional federal reserve banks• One of the jobs of the federal reserve banks is to audit the books of private sectors to ensure good standing and a healthy bank• Decisions about monetary policy are made by the Federal Open Market CommitteeThe Effectiveness of the Federal Reserve System• The Reconstruction Finance Corporation was established and given authority to make loans to banks in order to stabilize the banking sector in 1932.• The Glass Steagall Act of 1932 increased the ability of banks to borrow from the Federal Reserve System.• In 1932 FDR called the "Bank Holiday" in order to give banks time to get a handle on their problems .The RFC stabilized as well as reconstructed the banking industry by closing the unhealthy banks, giving loans, and out rightly purchasing shares of some...

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