The Federal Reserve System, the central bank of the United States, was founded by Congress to provide a safe, flexible and stable monetary and financial system. The Federal Reserve carries out the nation’s monetary policy guided by the goals set forth in the Federal Reserve Act, namely "to promote effectively the goals of maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates."
The Federal Reserve influences the economy through the market for balances that financial institutions maintain in their accounts at Federal Reserve Banks. The demand for Federal Reserve balances has two components: balances to satisfy reserve balance requirements and excess reserve balances. The supply of balances is affected by a number of factors, including loans from the Federal Reserve through its discount window facility and term deposits accepted by the Federal Reserve.
The Federal Reserve Banks offer a range of tools and information to assist financial institutions in meeting reporting requirements and understanding policies governing reserve requirements, term deposits and discount window lending programs.