Federal Reserve System History

(Under Construction)

Panic of 1907

The Panic of 1907 was triggered when it was discovered that one of New York's biggest banks, the Knickerbocker Trust, was in trouble due to failed investments in trying to corner the copper market. This triggered a run on that bank which then spread to other banks.

Luckily this panic was relatively short-lived and did not result in the kind of severe recession that followed the Panic of 1893. But it did revive discussions on how to prevent panics in the future.

Nelson Aldrich

Senator Nelson Aldrich spearheaded two congressional commissions; one to study the American monetary system, the other was to study the central banks of Europe.

Prior to the commission studies, Nelson Aldrich had stated publicly to be against a central bank and was looking for other solutions. After reviewing the banking systems of the countries, his commission concluded the U.S. needed a central bank.

Private vs Public?

The original Aldrich Plan called for a 100% private central bank


The Federal Reserve Act of 1913





The Bank Act of 1935

The Treasury Accord

1980-81: Experiment in Monetarist theory

1987 crash

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