This map displays the borders of the 12 districts of the Federal Reserve System. Each Federal Reserve Bank is marked with a black square and each branch is marked with a red circle. The Fed's headquarters in Washington, D.C., is marked with a star.

Map by ChrisnHouston, courtesy Wikimedia. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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  • On November 16, 1914, the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States officially opened for business. The Fed, as it is known, is the central bank of the entire United States. It determines U.S. monetary policy through three key objectives: maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates.
    The Fed’s main responsibility is to keep inflation low. Inflation is an increase in price of goods and services. The Fed is also responsible for controlling the money supply in the United States. The Fed controls the money supply by buying and selling U.S. Treasury securities. Treasury securities, often called Treasuries, are loans people and businesses make to the United States. The government uses Treasuries to create programs used by Americans, such as disaster relief or the federal highway system. The government pays back Treasuries after a certain period of time.
    There are actually 12 Federal Reserve Banks, one for every district in the system. The Fed identifies districts by number, letter, and the city where the district’s Reserve Bank is located.
    1.  Boston, Mass. (A)
    2.  New York, N.Y. (B)
    3.  Philadelphia, Pa. (C)
    4.  Cleveland, Ohio (D)
    5.  Richmond, Va. (E)
    6.  Atlanta, Ga. (F)
    7.  Chicago, Ill. (G)
    8.  St. Louis, Mo. (H)
    9.  Minneapolis, Minn. (I)
    10. Kansas City, Mo. (J)
    11. Dallas, Texas (K)
    12. San Francisco, Calif. (L)
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    bank Noun

    organization that loans, protects, and exchanges money to and from individuals and organizations.

    determine Verb

    to decide.

    disaster relief Noun

    goods, services, or funds supplied to government groups, organizations, or individuals following a natural or manmade disaster that prevents the normal functioning of society.

    employment Noun

    job or work.

    federal Adjective

    having to do with a nation's government (as opposed to local or regional government).

    Federal Reserve Noun

    central bank of the United States. Also called the Fed.

    government Noun

    system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

    highway Noun

    large public road.

    increase Verb

    to add or become larger.

    inflation Noun

    increase in the price of goods and services.

    interest rate Noun

    amount of money a lender charges a customer for a loan.

    loan Noun

    money, goods, or services given to a person or organization with the intention that the person or organization will return it.

    maximum Adjective

    the most or greatest amount possible.

    moderate Adjective

    of medium quality or quantity, not extreme.

    monetary Adjective

    having to do with money or currency.

    objective Noun

    goal or aim.

    responsible Adjective

    having accountability, authority, or liability in a situation.

    stable Adjective

    steady and reliable.

    treasuries Noun

    loans people and businesses make to the U.S. government. Also called Treasury securities.