[Editor's note: Fun visual narrative guide to the Federal Reserve system and it's roll in the U.S. economy.]
Republished from Mint.com and WallStats.com.
The Federal Reserve steers the American economy and yet it remains a system that is shrouded in mystery. Few understand the logic behind its policy decisions, decisions that have a profound effect on the US economy. And over the years it has operated seemingly independently of the more democratically elected arms of the US government. Its public stance, generally lacking in transparency has fueled conspiracy theories. Some even suggest its formation lead directly to the Great Depression.
So just what is the Federal Reserve? Why was it formed in the first place? And how does its monetary policy affect the lives of everyday US citizens? Here we do our part to demystify the Federal Reserve.