The subject of much confusion and countless conspiracy theories, the Federal Reserve is one of the most powerful government entities in the United States. Established in 1913, it was designed to better regulate credit across the country after fitful attempts at central banking, which began with the founding of the United States, led to severe economic crises throughout the late 19th century.
The Fedís role as the regulator of the nationís banking institutions and the designer of its monetary policy has evolved over the past century. And since the onset of the current financial crisis, the Fedís actions and responsibilities have adapted to the changing economic landscape, suggesting a new chapter in the central bankís history. Here, the Online NewsHour presents a guide to the history of the Fed and central banking in the United States.