Federal Agencies

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Federal Agencies'

Special government organizations set up for a specific purpose such as the management of resources, financial oversight of industries or national security issues. These organizations are typically created by legislative action, but may initially be set up by a presidential order as well. The directors of these agencies are typically selected by Presidential appointment. A number of these organizations issue securities such as stocks and bonds that have been historically popular with investors.

BREAKING DOWN 'Federal Agencies'

At last count, there were over 125 different government agencies and commissions, only a small portion of which directly affect investors. Some organizations, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) have their operations explicitly backed by the U.S. Treasury. Other organizations, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Sallie Mae are only provided with an implied guarantee from the U.S. Treasury.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Monetary Policy

    The actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory ...
  2. Federal Reserve Bank

    The central bank of the United States and the most powerful financial ...
  3. Fannie Mae - Federal National Mortgage ...

    A government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that was created in 1938 ...
  4. Ginnie Mae - Government National ...

    A U.S. government corporation within the U.S. Department of Housing ...
  5. Interest Rate

    The amount charged, expressed as a percentage of principal, by ...
  6. Freddie Mac - Federal Home Loan ...

    A stockholder-owned, government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) chartered ...
Related Articles
  1. Savings

    Are Your Bank Deposits Insured?

    Learn how the FDIC is helping to keep your money in your pockets.
  2. Taxes

    Agency Bonds: Limited Risk And Higher Return

    Discover these safe alternatives to Treasury bonds.
  3. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: iShares Agency Bond

    Find out about the iShares Agency Bond exchange-traded fund, and explore detailed analysis of the ETF that tracks U.S. government agency securities.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 4 ETFs For Investing in US Government Bonds

    Discover the top four ETFs that invest in U.S. government bonds with maturities ranging from zero to 25 years, including nominal and inflation-protected bonds.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: Vanguard Total Bond Market

    Learn about the Vanguard Total Bond Market exchange-traded fund, its primary portfolio holdings and risk/reward profile based on its past performance.
  6. Economics

    Explaining the Glass-Steagall Act

    An act the U.S. Congress passed in 1933 as the Banking Act, which prohibited commercial banks from participating in the investment banking business.
  7. Credit & Loans

    The Pros & Cons Of Personal Loans vs. Credit Cards

    One is not like the other. We help you decide where to borrow money from.
  8. Insurance

    What Happens If Your Insurance Company Goes Bankrupt?

    When insurance companies go bankrupt or face financial difficulty, it's bad news for policy holders.
  9. Insurance

    The Government And Risk: A Love-Hate Relationship

    Though the U.S. government can help its citizens by subsidizing risky loans, the costs always come back to the taxpayers.
  10. Insurance

    Bag The Best Bank Account

    Take advantage of the deals banks offer, and find the right account for your financial situation.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What are some of the major regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing financial ...

    There are a number of agencies assigned to regulate and oversee financial institutions and financial markets, including the ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Which federal regulatory agencies approved and are now responsible for enforcing ...

    Five federal regulatory agencies approved and are jointly responsible for enforcing the Volcker rule. These agencies include ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can I tell if a security is considered investment grade?

    It is possible to tell if a security is considered to be investment grade by looking at that security's ratings with either ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Which securities are considered investment grade?

    In finance, government and private fixed income securities, such as bonds and notes, are considered investment grade if they ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What agencies were created by the Glass-Steagall Act?

    The Glass-Steagall Act, also known as the Banking Act of 1933, was proposed and passed by Congress in response to the failure ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What were the objectives of the Glass-Steagall Act?

    The objectives of the Glass-Steagall Act were “to provide for the safer and more effective use of the assets of banks, to ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  2. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  3. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  4. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  5. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
  6. Dead Cat Bounce

    A temporary recovery from a prolonged decline or bear market, followed by the continuation of the downtrend. A dead cat bounce ...
Trading Center
×

You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!