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The Federal Reserve System ("the Fed") was established in 1913 to help avert financial panics and breakdowns in the banking system, which had all too frequently unsettled the economy in earlier decades. As the U.S. evolved into a major financial and economic power the Fed took on responsibilities as the U.S. central bank to assure that everyone who wants a job can get one and that the average level of prices remains generally stable. The Federal Reserve: What Everyone Needs to Knowis about how things work in practice for the Fed: how it makes decisions, what actions it takes, and the actual effects it has on the economy and society. Stephen H. Axilrod, a fomer prominent insider, lays out and answers questions about the political and social context, and the rapidly changing financial environment--accelerated and made more complex and potentially bedeviling by rapid technological advances, as well as regulatory issues and laxness. The book will focus on domestic conditions as well as international influences when they arise, especially in more recent decades. The discussion will draw almost entirely on experience of the post-World War II years, which are the years in which the Fed became further modernized and thus better able to find its way through and deal with the accelerating changes in world finance and communication. In 2013 The Fed will celebrate its one-hundredth anniversary. Thus the book will be an aptly timed, and unparalleled explanation of the powerful and relatively unknown role the Fed has come to play in the U.S. and world economies.