The Federal Reserve banks across the U.S. play an unheralded role, and the fundamental objectives underlying the design of the Federal Reserve System — to address the monopolistic power of a handful of banks, to promote industry diversity and to create a check on concentrated power — are just as relevant today as they were in 1913, when the Fed was established.

Thanks to their knowledge of the regions the serve, the banks provide the board with vital regional economic data and local trends. This local economic expertise is critical to the functioning of the Fed's monetary policy responsibilities.

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