Federal Reserve Bank commemorates 100 year history

federal-reserveAlthough its official birthday is December 14, Kansas City’s Federal Reserve Bank is commemorating its 100th anniversary all year.

The bank, which relocated to its current office on Main Street near the Liberty Memorial in 2008, brings a “Main Street perspective to what is going on in Washington,” according to spokesman Bill Medley.

Photo courtesy Federal Reserve of Kansas City.

The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, like its counterparts in other regions, has a statutory mission of setting monetary policy to keep prices stable and maximize employment.  It also provides financial services, like supplying money, to regional banks. And the fed has a team of bank examiners headquartered in Kansas City.

Medley says the fed has 1400 local employees.

“Agriculture is still very important to the region,” he says. The bank continues to study agricultural economic trends and share its findings with policy makers in Washington.

This role representing the farm community goes back to the founding of the Federal Reserve system a hundred years ago. As national leaders decided to create a system of regional banks to break up central control, St. Louis made the original list of top cities. But as a three-person committee fanned out across the country to study other potential bank sites, Kansas City impressed with its active stockyards, its new Union Station, and its spirit of optimism.

Out-of-towners are often impressed with the Kansas City Federal Reserve’s public exhibits, including President Truman’s coin collection, which is on loan from the Truman Library. There’s also the Museum of Money, where visitors can see the region’s largest cash vault holding millions of dollars and create their own digital currency complete with their photo.

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