The Federal Reserve System‍ ( ‌also known as the Federal Reserve or the Fed) ‌is the central bank of the United States of America. It was created on December 23, 1913. It has 3 key objectives by controlling the monetary policy: maximizing employment, stabilizing prices, and moderating long-term interest rates. In other words, the Fed's job is to foster a sound banking system and a healthy economy. To accomplish its mission, the Fed serves as the banker's bank, the government's bank, the regulator of financial institutions and as the nation's money manager. The Fed conducts research into the economy and releases numerous financial publications.

The term monetary policy refers to the actions that the Federal Reserve undertakes to influence the amount of money and credit in the U.S. economy. Changes to the amount of money and credit affect interest rates (the cost of credit) and the performance of the U.S. economy. To state this concept simply, if the cost of credit is reduced, more people and firms will borrow money and the economy will heat up.

The Federal Reserve System implements monetary policy largely by targeting the federal funds rate. This is the interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans of federal funds, which are the reserves held by banks at the Fed. This rate is actually determined by the market and is not explicitly mandated by the Fed. It has more power and influence on financial markets than any government institution. Its monetary policies are closely observed and often become a strong influence in many other countries that follow the Fed's policy changes.

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