The Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States, was founded by Congress to provide a safe, flexible and stable monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve carries out the nation’s monetary policy guided by the goals set forth in the Federal Reserve Act, namely "to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."
The Federal Reserve influences the economy through the market for balances that financial institutions maintain in their accounts at Federal Reserve Banks. The demand for Federal Reserve balances has two components: balances to satisfy reserve balance requirements and excess reserve balances. The supply of balances is affected by a number of factors, including loans from the Federal Reserve through its discount window facility and term deposits accepted by the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve Banks offer a range of tools and information to assist financial institutions in meeting reporting requirements, understanding policies governing reserve requirements and learning about discount window lending programs.
Reporting Central provides financial institutions with access to electronic reporting applications, report forms and instructions. Information collected allows the Federal Reserve to carry out its responsibilities of monetary policy, the supervision and regulation of the banking industry and the protection of consumers' rights. Documents needed for preparing and filing regulatory and financial reports are also available.
Reserves Central provides resources and tools to help financial institutions manage different types of reserve balances; specifically, balances maintained to satisfy reserve balance requirements and excess reserve balances. From Reserves Central, financial institutions can review reserve requirements, and access and drill down into comprehensive reserves data. Financial institutions can also find comprehensive information on term deposits.
Lending Central links financial institutions to details about the mechanics of borrowing, primary, secondary, as well as seasonal lending programs, and discount rate tables. Guidelines are also provided to help financial institutions comply with the Federal Reserve's operating circulars and regulations.
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