Central Bank Independence and Accountability
Congress established the Federal Reserve in 1913 as a politically independent central bank. This independence was a foundational tenet, but the Fed has lost only to regain that independence during its more than 100-year history. What does central bank independence really mean, and why might a country want an independent central bank?
In this virtual presentation David Wheelock, senior vice president and special policy advisor to St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, explores political pressures on the Fed over time, and why central bank independence requires transparency and accountability. Following his presentation, Wheelock is joined by Fernando Martin, St. Louis Fed economist and research officer, for a Q&A session.
Related Resources from the St. Louis Fed
Publications and Special Releases
Speeches/Remarks and Materials from the Board of Governors and the Federal Reserve System
- Treasury–Federal Reserve Cooperation and the Importance of Central Bank Independence (by Governor Christopher Waller, March 29, 2021)
- Brief Remarks at the premiere of “Marriner Eccles: Father of the Modern Federal Reserve” (by Chair Jerome Powell, Oct. 7, 2019)
- Central Bank Independence, Transparency, and Accountability (by then-Chair Ben Bernanke, May 25, 2010)
- Balance of Power: The Political Fight for an Independent Central Bank, 1790-Present (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, June 2012)
- The Evolution of Fed Independence (Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Fall 2009)
- FAQs: About the Fed