THis info graphic from Mint gives an awesome overview. The Federal Reserve System, often referred to as the Federal Reserve or "the Fed," was created in 1913 by the Congress Signed into law by Woodrow Wilson) to provide the nation with a safer, more flexible, and more stable monetary and financial system. This system of ten regional institutions implements the nation's monetary policy by influencing money and credit conditions in the economy in pursuit of full employment and stable prices. The Fed regulates and supervises banks and other important financial institutions. The Fed tries to craft stability of the financial system and contain systemic risk that may arise in financial markets.Finally, the Fed provides financial services to the U.S. government, U.S. financial institutions, and foreign official institutions, and playing a major role in operating and overseeing the nation's payments systems.