Learn about the US Federal Reserve with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.The US Federal Reserve is stirring more excitement these days than is probably recommended for a central bank just shy of its 100th birthday.
The Fed, tasked with fostering economic growth and price stability in the US, was ratified by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. It followed two failed attempts in two hundred years of boom and bust in what was to rapidly become the world's leading economy. The Fed's own lifetime has been scarcely less eventful. And today it tackles the gravest in a long line of crises that, for better and worse, have helped shape the US financial environment.
Under the leadership of Chairman Ben Bernanke, the Fed has plied a difficult course through the markets upheaval and economic recession that started with the US housing bust in 2007, and soon took on even greater, global significance. Those events have challenged the wisdom of earlier policies that drove strong credit growth and a philosophy of deregulation under Bernanke's predecessor Alan Greenspan, and may have unearthed even more duties for the Fed as a financial watchdog in the complex network of the modern banking system.
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