Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks of the United States. It is located at 33 Liberty Street, New York, New York. It is responsible for the Second District of the Federal Reserve System, which encompasses New York State, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey, Fairfield County in Connecticut, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Working within the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York implements monetary policy, supervises and regulates financial institutions[1] and helps maintain the nation's payment systems.[2]

Federal Reserve Bank of New York
FRBNY logo.png
Seal
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Headquarters
HeadquartersFederal Reserve Bank of New York Building
New York, New York, US
Coordinates40°42′32″N 74°00′32″W / 40.708767°N 74.008756°W / 40.708767; -74.008756Coordinates: 40°42′32″N 74°00′32″W / 40.708767°N 74.008756°W / 40.708767; -74.008756
EstablishedMay 18, 1914 (106 years ago) (1914-05-18)
PresidentJohn C. Williams
Central bank of
Websitewww.newyorkfed.org
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is one of twelve regional banks that make up the Federal Reserve System

Among the other regional banks, the New York Fed and its president are considered first among equals.[3] Its current president is John C. Williams. It is by far the largest (by assets), most active (by volume) and most influential of the 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks.

HistoryEdit

Establishment and early leadership under Benjamin StrongEdit

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York opened for business on November 16, 1914, under the leadership of Benjamin Strong Jr., who had previously been president of the Bankers Trust Company. He led the Bank until his death in 1928. Strong became the executive officer (then called the "governor"—today, the term would be "president"). As the leader of the Federal Reserve's largest and most powerful district bank, Strong became a dominant force in U.S. monetary and banking affairs. One biographer has termed him the "de facto leader of the entire Federal Reserve System".[4] This was not only because of Strong's abilities, but also because the central board's powers were ambiguous and, for the most part, limited to supervisory and regulatory functions under the 1913 Federal Reserve Act because many Americans were antagonistic to centralized control.

When the United States entered World War I, Strong was a major force behind the campaigns to fund the war effort via bonds owned primarily by U.S. citizens. This enabled the United States to avoid many of the post-war financial problems of the European belligerents. Strong gradually recognized the importance of open market operation, or purchases and sales of government securities, as a means of managing the quantity of money in the U.S. economy and thus affecting interest rates. This was particularly important at the time because gold had flooded into the United States during and after World War I. Thus, its gold-backed currency was well-protected, but prices had been pushed up substantially by the currency expansion due to the gold standard-imposed expansion of currency. In 1922, Strong unofficially scrapped the gold standard and instead began aggressively pursuing open market operations as a means of stabilizing domestic prices and thus internal economic stability. Thus, he began the Federal Reserve's practice of buying and selling government securities as monetary policy. John Maynard Keynes, a prominent British economist who had previously not questioned the gold standard, used Strong's activities as an example of how a central bank could manage a nation's economy without the gold standard in his book "A Tract on Monetary Reform" (1923). To quote one authority:

It was Strong more than anyone else who invented the modern central banker. When we watch ... [central bankers of today] describe how they are seeking to strike the right balance between economic growth and price stability, it is the ghost of Benjamin Strong who hovers above him. It all sounds quite prosaically obvious now, but in 1922 it was a radical departure from more than two hundred years of central banking history.[5]

Strong's policy of maintaining price levels during the 1920s through open market operation and his willingness to maintain the liquidity of banks during panics have been praised by monetarists and harshly criticized by Austrian economists.[6]

With the European economic turmoil of the 1920s, Strong's influence became worldwide. He was a strong supporter of European efforts to return to the gold standard and economic stability. Strong's new monetary policies not only stabilized U.S. prices, they encouraged both U.S. and world trade by helping to stabilize European currencies and finances. However, with virtually no inflation, interest rates were low and the U.S. economy and corporate profits surged, fueling the stock market increases of the late 1920s. This worried him, but he also felt he had no choice because the low interest rates were helping Europeans (particularly Great Britain) in their effort to return to the gold standard.

Economic historian Charles P. Kindleberger states that Strong was one of the few U.S. policymakers interested in the troubled financial affairs of Europe in the 1920s, and that had he not died in 1928, just a year before the Great Depression, he might have been able to maintain stability in the international financial system.[7]

A public competition for the design of the building was held and the architectural firm of York and Sawyer submitted the winning design. The Bank moved to the new Federal Reserve Bank of New York Building in 1924.[8] The Bank maintains a vault that lies 80 feet (24 m) below street level and 50 feet (15 m) below sea level,[9] resting on Manhattan bedrock. By 1927, the vault contained 10% of the world's official gold reserves.[8]

Terrorism attemptEdit

On October 17, 2012, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested while attempting to detonate what he believed to be an 800-pound bomb. A joint FBI/NYPD operation flagged the suspect on the Internet and set up the sting with fake explosives. In 2013, Nafis pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison.[10]

ResponsibilitiesEdit

 
Map of the Second District

Since the founding of the Federal Reserve system, the Reserve Bank of New York has been the place where monetary policy in the United States is implemented, although policy is decided in Washington, D.C. by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). It is the only Reserve Bank with a permanent seat on the Committee, and its president is traditionally selected as the Committee's vice chairman. Operating in the financial capital of the U.S., the Bank conducts open market operations — the buying and selling of outstanding Treasury securities and agency securities — through its Trading Desk.[11] Like other regional Reserve Banks, the Reserve Bank of New York distributes coins and currency, participates in the Fedwire system that transfers payments and securities between domestic banks, and conducts economic research.

The Bank is the exclusive fiscal agent of the U.S. Treasury. In this role, it conducts all primary auctions of marketable Treasury securities, as well as government buybacks when authorized. It carries out exchange rate policy by swapping dollars with foreign currencies under the Treasury's direction. The Treasury receives all direct federal revenue and borrowed funds, and pays nearly all federal expenses, through its General Account at the Reserve Bank of New York.

 
A gold vault at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Bank's underground gold bullion depository is the largest confirmed gold store in the world (the gold stocks of Swiss banks being unknown) and holds approximately 7,000 tonnes (7,700 short tons) of gold bullion, more than Fort Knox. The gold does not belong to the Bank, which transferred all of its domestic gold reserves to the Treasury under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934. Nearly 98% belongs to the central banks of foreign governments.[12] The rest belongs to the United States and international organizations such as the IMF. The Bank stores the gold at no charge, but charges for handling whenever it is moved.[13]

The Bank publishes a monthly recession probability prediction derived from the yield curve and based on the work by Arturo Estrella & Tobias Adrian.[14] Their models show that, when the difference between short-term interest rates (using three-month T-bills) and long-term interest rates (using ten-year Treasury notes) at the end of a Federal Reserve tightening cycle is negative or less than 93 basis points positive, a rise in unemployment usually occurs.[15]

BranchEdit

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York Buffalo Branch was the Bank's only branch. It was formally disbanded on October 31, 2008.

CriticismsEdit

In 2009, the Bank commissioned a probe into its own practices. David Beim, finance professor at Columbia Business School submitted a report in 2009, released by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission in 2011, saying "that a number of people he interviewed at the reserve bank believe that supervisors paid excessive deference to banks and, as a result, they were less aggressive in finding issues or in following up on them in a forceful way".[16]

In 2012, Carmen Segarra, then an examiner for the Bank, told her superiors that Goldman Sachs had no policy governing conflicts of interest. She was dismissed in May 2012 and brought a lawsuit for whistle-blower retaliation in October 2013. In April 2014 the U.S. District court in Manhattan dismissed the case, "ruling that Segarra failed to make a legally sufficient claim under the whistle-blower protections of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act".[16] In September 2014, Segarra's secretly recorded conversations were aired by This American Life and the Bank was accused of political corruption by being a "captured agency", i.e., subject to regulatory capture, of the banks which it supervises.[17][18]

Board of DirectorsEdit

The following people serve on the board of directors as of April 2020.[19] Terms expire on December 31 of their final year on the board.[19]

Class A
Name Title Term Expires
James P. Gorman Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Morgan Stanley
New York, New York
2021
Gerald Lipkin President and Chief Executive Officer
Peapack-Gladstone Bank
Bedminster, New Jersey
2022
Paul P. Mello President and Chief Executive Officer
Solvay Bank
Solvay, New York
2020
Class B
Name Title Term Expires
Adena T. Friedman President and Chief Executive Officer
Nasdaq
New York, New York
2022
Glenn H. Hutchins Co-Founder
Silver Lake
New York, New York
2021
Charles Phillips Chairman
Infor
New York, New York
2020
Class C
Name Title Term Expires
Vincent Alvarez President, New York City Central Labor Council
AFL-CIO
New York, New York
2021
Denise Scott

(Chair)

Executive Vice President
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
New York, New York
2022
Rosa M. Gil

(Deputy Chair)

Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer
Comunilife, Inc.
New York, New York
2020

PresidentsEdit

In popular cultureEdit

In the first Godfather movie, the "meeting of the Dons" scene uses the Federal Reserve building exterior, even though the interior of another New York building (the Penn Central railway boardroom) was also used for filming.

In the 1974 film The Taking of Pelham One Two Three hijackers take over a subway train car and demand $1 million for release of the car and 19 passengers, and the city must deliver it to the train car within one hour or the hijackers will start executing passengers at the rate of one per minute until it's delivered. The money for the ransom, to be provided in bundles of used $50 and $100 bills, is frantically assembled by workers at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York while a police cruiser waits at the front entrance for it to be assembled for delivery.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York plays a prominent role in the 1995 film Die Hard with a Vengeance, starring Bruce Willis and Jeremy Irons. The Federal Reserve Bank is the setting for a major heist of the gold by Jeremy Irons' character, Simon Gruber. The vault is penetrated under the pretense of construction work and the gold bullion transported via dump trucks to a location outside the city.

The New York Fed publishes a series of educational comic books about its activities. Included are such titles as Once upon a Dime, The Story of Money, Too Much, Too Little, A Penny Saved . . ., and The Story of Foreign Trade and Exchange.[20]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes

  1. ^ Matt Taibbi (July 13, 2009). "The Great American Bubble Machine". Rolling Stone. p. 6. Archived from the original on April 6, 2010. Retrieved September 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "About the Fed." New York Federal Reserve Web page. Footnote upgraded/confirmed 2010-03-30.
  3. ^ Spitzer, Eliot (May 6, 2009). "The New York Fed is the most powerful financial institution you've never heard of. Look who's running it". Slate Magazine.
  4. ^ Lester Vernon Chandler, Benjamin Strong: Central Banker (1958)
  5. ^ Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World (2009), p. 171
  6. ^ Rothbard, Murray, America's Great Depression (2000), page xxxiii
  7. ^ Kindleberger, Charles, The World in Depression, 1929–1939,(1986)
  8. ^ a b "History". New York Federal Reserve Web page. Retrieved 2010-03-30.
  9. ^ "The Key to the Gold Vault" (PDF). The Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2010. Retrieved September 18, 2010.
  10. ^ Secret, Mosi (August 9, 2013). "30-Year Prison Sentence in Plot to Bomb U.S. Bank". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Open Market Operations - FEDERAL RESERVE BANK of NEW YORK". www.newyorkfed.org.
  12. ^ Mightiest Bank. Aired on Monday, 14 November 2011, 7:00pm - 8:00pm EST on Planet Green. 51 minutes. (See also Inside the World’s Mightiest Bank: The Federal Reserve. Tug Yourgrau and Pip Gilmour. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences. 2000. Originally produced for the Discovery Channel by Powderhouse Productions. Retrieved 14 November 2011)
  13. ^ "Welcome to the World's Largest Gold Vault". ABC News.
  14. ^ http://www.newyorkfed.org/research/capital_markets/ycfaq.html
  15. ^ Arturo Estrella & Tobias Adrian, FRB of New York Staff Report No. 397, 2009
  16. ^ a b Matthew Boesler and Kathleen Hunter (September 27, 2014). "Warren Calls for Hearings on New York Fed Allegations". Bloomberg News. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  17. ^ "The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra". This American Life. September 26, 2014.
  18. ^ Bernstein, Jake (September 26, 2014). "Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash". ProPublica.org. ProPublica.
  19. ^ a b "Federal Reserve Bank of New York - Directors". Federal Reserve. April 2020.
  20. ^ "Internet Archive Search: creator%3A%22Federal Reserve Bank of New York%22". archive.org. Retrieved July 20, 2019.

Further reading

  • Alessi, Lucia, et al. "Central bank macroeconomic forecasting during the global financial crisis: the European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of New York experiences." Journal of Business & Economic Statistics (2014) 32#4 pp: 483-500.
  • Chandler, Lester Vernon. Benjamin Strong: Central Banker (Brookings Institution, 1958)
  • Clark, Lawrence Edmund. Central Banking Under the Federal Reserve System: With Special Consideration of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (Macmillan, 1935)
  • Greider, William. Secrets of the temple: How the Federal Reserve runs the country (Simon and Schuster, 1989)
  • Meltzer, Allan H. A History of the Federal Reserve (2 vol, University of Chicago Press, 2010)

External linksEdit