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Convenient Illusions: The 12 Regional Federal Reserve Banks

Written by Gary North on November 5, 2013

In late December 1913, the government of the United States voted the Federal Reserve Act into law.

The promoters had a political problem: widespread resistance to the idea of a central bank. So, the designers of the Federal Reserve System — mainly Kuhn, Loeb economist Paul Warburg, a recent German immigrant — created an illusion: a decentralized system of regional Federal Reserve banks. These were private. They were supposedly independent. They were impotent — except for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where the real influence of the entire Federal Reserve System has always been.

If you want to understand this system, begin with Murray Rothbard’s book, The Mystery of Banking. I have described it here: http://mises.org/daily/5499. Then follow with Griffin’s book, The Creature from Jekyll Island. He summarizes it in a video lecture here: http://www.garynorth.com/public/11738.cfm. Both men present the FED as the premier enforcement arm of a bankers’ cartel. No economics textbook ever does. The chapter on the FED never follows the chapter on cartels. The connection would be too obvious.


Richard Fisher is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He has been a vocal critic of Ron Paul.

In a recent speech in Australia, he distinguished between the board of governors of the Federal Reserve system, which is an agency of the United States government, and the 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, which are not agencies of the federal government, but which technically are also not profit-seeking institutions.

If you go to the website of the Federal Reserve System, you see that its URL ends in .gov. If you go to the websites of the regional Federal Reserve banks, you find that their URLs end in .org. They do not end in .com.

The regional banks of the Federal Reserve are not listed on any stock market exchange. They are privately owned. They are owned by commercial banks in their districts. We are never told how many shares are owned by which banks. These matters are not considered relevant to general public. The general public has no say in this matter. They are strictly private organizations. Therefore, the federal government has no say over which banks own the shares, nor does it have any say over the election of officers, including the president of each of the regional banks.

In other words, the system is a classic old boy network. This network is said to control, or at least influence, regional banking matters. We are never told exactly how much authority the regional banks possess. Official literature issued by the regional banks and by the Federal Reserve System is silent on this matter. That is to say, how much autonomy do they have? Far more important, how much autonomy does the Federal Reserve Bank of New York have? This is never discussed in public by any member of the Federal Reserve System or a regional Federal Reserve Bank. It is a verboten topic. It is not discussed in textbooks on money and banking. It is not discussed in textbooks on American history or textbooks on economics. An amazing silence covers the entire subject.

(For the rest of the article, click the link.)

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6 thoughts on “Convenient Illusions: The 12 Regional Federal Reserve Banks

  1. Patrick Duffy says:

    The blog said, "Federal Reserve banks, which are not agencies of the federal government".

    Then why does the POTUS appoint the chairman? The federal government CONTROLS the fed. Those that run the system are POLITICAL APPOINTMENTS! The government IS the bank folks! Furthermore, the "fed" does not print a single dollar, even though the name on the money says, "federal reserve note". It's the U.S. TREASURY that prints the money under the "department of printing and engraving" in Washington DC (run by the federal government). You can even tour the money factory and see all of those 'federal reserve notes' flying off the presses (http://www.moneyfactory.gov). You can buy tickets to tour the factory with the very notes they print!

    So, PLEASE do not tell the sheepe that the 'fed' is a 'private' bank, when the GOVERNMENT prints all the money the 'private bank' uses. The 'fed' is just the private bank of CONGRESS to use as they wish to SPEND all the cash that they need to support the beast of the federal government in W'ashington DC.

  2. There is no "chairman" of the Federal Reserve banks, doofus, let alone one appointed by the government. There IS, however, a chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), and the position is appointed by the government.

  3. But the Federal Reserve Banks are private, privately owned, and the government has nothing to do with them.

  4. Now, before the Privately owned Federal Reserve System conspiracy there was this, In 1910 an "insurgent" or progressive section, to which Mr Roosevelt adhered, formed itself within the Republican party; and the state elections in November resulted in a Democratic triumph without a parallel since that of the year 1890. Felix Frankfurter, Justice of the Supreme Court (1939-1962), said: "The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes." In a letter to an associate dated November 21, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt wrote, "The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson."

  5. The third central bank in this nation's history was sold as a means to stabilize the economy and prevent the wild swings of depression, inflation and recession. What have we had ever since the Fed came into existence? Depressions, recessions, inflation. Oh, and world wars.

    "But honest, this is the best way to run an economy and we must never, ever think about running the country any other way!"

  6. 1baronrichsnot1 says:

    They have owned the US gov't since andrew jackson alright, The truth didn't come out until woodrow wilson was pres. and the 12 banks were thoroughly entrenched! Woodrow just solidified and engrained them into the economy! The reason given, no elected man will be able to control this machine! It will take the collective intelligence of our brightest, who we will secretly guard and support to keep a stable economy! It has worked so well that we guess now, they want to control the world, and that my friends is what Ron Paul is talking about!