The U.S. Federal Reserve has been with us for just over one hundred years. Founded in response to a major economic panic, it has played a key role in the world economy ever since, including the recent global economic downturn. The Fed's structure is unique among central banking systems. Many people think it is a government agency, that it was created by politicians for the benefit of the U.S. economy, and that it is regulated by the U.S. government. None of these assumptions are true. To fully understand the Federal Reserve and its role today we need to examine its origins and the men that founded it.
Using extensive archival sources, Richard A. Naclerio investigates the highly secretive events that surrounded the Fed's creation and the bankers, financiers, and economists that played a fundamental part in shaping both its organization and the role it was to play over the next century. In particular, the book examines the motivations of those seven men who met in secret on Jekyll Island, Georgia to create the first draft of the Federal Reserve Act, and reveals the banking and business ties and shared ideologies that bound these men together. The book makes a significant contribution to economic and financial history and sheds new light on the making of one of the world's most important financial institutions and how it came to have the national and international influence it does.