The Federal Reserve was established by Congress and signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1913. It was preceded by financial panics, bank failures and business bankruptcies that severely disrupted the economy. There were two prior attempts at establishing central banks.

Through the years

The Kansas City Fed's history is detailed in several books.

Always Been a Banking Town: A History of the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

By Tim Todd

Since its opening in 1917, the Omaha Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has provided Nebraskans with a direct local connection to the nation’s central bank. Explore the history of central banking in the United States and Omaha's path to being selected as the first Branch office of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. 

A Corollary of Accountability: A History of FOMC Policy Communication

By Tim Todd

The revelation in the early 1990s that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) had privately maintained policy meeting transcripts for years created a substantial political challenge for the Federal Reserve. But it also opened the door to a new era of policy transparency that would have been unimaginable through much of the Fed’s history.

Highways of Commerce: Central Banking and the U.S. Payments System

By Bill Medley

Explore the history behind the Federal Reserve's current roles as overseer and participant in the payments system and the often contentious debate over the central bank's responsibilities.

In Late August: The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium

By Tim Todd and Bill Medley

The Bank's Economic Policy Symposium has provided a unique forum for the exchange of ideas on important policy issues of interest to central banks around the world. This book tells the history of the symposium through the years.

Under Pressure: Politics and the Federal Reserve During the 1990-1991 Recession

By Tim Todd

During the U.S. recession of 1990-91, the Federal Reserve came under intense pressure from political forces seeking to influence monetary policy. This book examines the role of politics on the Federal Open Market Committee at that time and highlights the importance of the Fed's independence and decentralized structure.

The Balance of Power: The Political Fight for an Independent Central Bank, 1790 - present

By Tim Todd

This book was created to help Federal Reserve Bank directors, who are responsible for the governance of their Districts and the guardianship of the Federal Reserve System.

Confidence Restored: The History of the Tenth District's Federal Reserve Bank

By Tim Todd

Read about the Kansas City Fed's past through the leaders and innovations that shaped our development into what we are today.

Integrity, Fairness and Resolve: Lessons from Bill Taylor and the Last Financial Crisis

By Tim Todd

This brief biography focuses on the leadership of the Fed's long-time head of banking supervision during the financial crisis of the 1980s and the parallels to today's turmoil.