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.

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

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.
By Bill Medley

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

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

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

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.

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

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.