Reader Exchange: What Does the St. Louis Fed Do?

January 26, 2015

In a report published recently to mark the 100th anniversary of the St. Louis Fed and the Fed System, you will learn not only about the founding and history of these institutions, but you will get a first-person account of the work of each department at the St. Louis Bank today. For example, Chris Waller, the head of our Research department, explains the academic-style research that our economists undertake. Julie Stackhouse talks about the sophisticated approach taken to bank supervision these days. Karen Branding highlights the importance of earning the public's trust. Other essays discuss the payments system, our work for the Treasury, internal and external audits of the St. Louis Fed, and many other aspects of day-to-day operations.

The core of "100 Years of Service," however, is the history. You will read about the financial instability in the country that led to the birth of the Fed, our nation's third attempt at a central bank. You will also find out why, a half-century later, the St. Louis Fed came to be known as the maverick in the Fed System.

You can scroll through the book—or download it in the iTunes store—online at There, you will also find a seven-minute video that captures some of the highlights.

Views expressed in Regional Economist are not necessarily those of the St. Louis Fed or Federal Reserve System.

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