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5 Most Influential Federal Reserve Chiefs

By    |   Tuesday, 14 July 2015 02:05 PM

The Federal Reserve Bank has been the centralized banking system of the United States for the last 100 years. During that time, the position of the chair of the Board of Governors, which is appointed by the U.S president, has become viewed as a vital role in nation’s economic health. Each chairperson is selected from the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors for a four-year term. While a chairperson can serve more than one term as chief, each member of the Board of Governors is restricted to one 14-year term.

Here are five of the most influential Fed chiefs.

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1. Charles Hamlin: The first chair of the Federal Reserve, Charles Hamlin was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson. He served only two years, and at the time, the “chair” position was actually called “governor.” Hamlin continued to serve on the Board and also in an advisory capacity until the late 1930s. His main role was to help develop the structure of the new organization as it had been intended under the Federal Reserve Act, according to Federal Reserve History.

2. Roy A. Young had the unfortunate designation of Chair of the Federal Reserve Board during the beginning of the Great Depression. Young focused his efforts on strengthening the flailing banking system in the country. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, which he went on to later lead, Young did not believe monetary policy was the primary responsibility of the Federal Reserve and did not try to change the country’s economic environment.

3. William Martin: The ninth chair of the Board of Governors was the longest-serving, holding his position under five different presidents. It was under Martin’s leadership the Fed and the United States Treasury Department reached an agreement that allowed the Fed to pursue monetary policy rather than simply implement policies passed down from the Treasury. The Fed had agreed to keep interest rates stable during World War II in the best interest of the war effort. This agreement allowed the Fed to make independent decisions about what would be best for the country’s economic conditions. Martin worked to fight inflation and was known for being independent minded.

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4. Alan Greenspan: This high-profile chair of the Federal Reserve served under four presidents. Though he served during the 1987 stock market crash as well as two recessions, the country also experienced a high level of economic growth during his term.

5. Janet Yellen: While Yellen has not been chair for very long, her role is notable because she is the first woman who has been named to the position. She is the 15th chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and began serving in that role in February 2014. She also has served as president of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers and president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

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The Federal Reserve Bank has been the centralized banking system of the United States for the last 100 years. During that time, the position of the chair of the Board of Governors, which is appointed by the U.S president, has become viewed as a vital role in nation’s economic health.
influential, federal reserve, chiefs
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2015-05-14
Tuesday, 14 July 2015 02:05 PM
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