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Fed writes its own history

By Marcie Geffner · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

The Federal Reserve has launched a website offering historians, teachers and the public a history of the Federal Reserve.

The website, known as the History Web Gateway, is an online resource that contains biographies, images and essays about key events in the Fed's 100-year history.

Online at FederalReserveHistory.org, the website contains information about how the Fed was founded, the Fed's purpose, biographies of more than 230 people associated with the Fed and access to certain Fed archives.

Additional content and features will be added over time, according to the Fed.

The early contenders for most popular content on the website include an essay about the signing of the Federal Reserve Act in 1913, an essay about the Great Depression from 1929 through 1941 and a biography of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Trending search terms include Janet Yellen, the 2008 financial crisis, inflation and the Federal Open Market Committee, which influences interest rates.

The website is part of the Fed's effort to encourage people to think deeply about the Fed's role in the U.S. economy, according to the Fed.

That effort is part of the Fed's recognition of its own centennial year, which starts Dec. 23, 100 years after President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act, which created the Fed. The Fed opened Aug. 10, 1914, and its reserve banks opened Nov. 16, 1914.

In a statement, Bernanke said looking back at the Fed's historical experience gives economists, historians and policymakers important insights into how the Fed can best meet its objectives.

Jeffrey M. Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and chairman of the Fed's centennial sponsoring committee, said sharing information about the Fed's history will "make it easier for the public to learn more about who we are and what we do at the Fed."

Follow me on Twitter: @marciegeff.


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