Federal Reserve Note

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DEFINITION of 'Federal Reserve Note'

The most accurate term used to describe the paper currency (dollar bills) circulated in the United States. These Federal Reserve Notes are printed by the U.S. Treasury at the instruction of the Federal Reserve member banks, who also act as the clearinghouse for local banks that need to increase or reduce their supply of cash on hand. This term is often confused with Federal Reserve Bank Notes, which were issued and redeemable only by each individual member bank, but phased out in the mid-1930s.

BREAKING DOWN 'Federal Reserve Note'

Prior to 1971, any Federal Reserve Note issued was theoretically backed by an equivalent amount of gold held by the U.S. Treasury. However, under President Nixon, the gold standard was officially abandoned creating a fiat currency. In other words, Federal Reserve Notes were no longer backed by hard assets. Rather, Federal Reserve Notes were now backed solely by the government's declaration that such paper money was legal tender in the United States.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How is the Federal Reserve audited?

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, the Federal Reserve is extensively audited. Politicians on the left and right of a populist ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Who decides when to print money in the US?

    The U.S. Treasury decides to print money in the United States as it owns and operates printing presses. However, the Federal ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why do some people claim the Federal Reserve is unconstitutional?

    The U.S. Constitution does not mention the need for a central bank, nor does it explicitly grant the government the power ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How can the federal reserve increase aggregate demand?

    The Federal Reserve can increase aggregate demand in indirect ways by lowering interest rates. Aggregate demand is a measure ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does the stock market react to changes in the Federal Funds Rate?

    The stock market reacts to changes in the federal funds rate in various ways depending on where it is in the business cycle. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. When has the United States run its largest trade deficits?

    In macroeconomics, balance of trade is one of the leading economic metrics that determines the trading relationship of a ... Read Full Answer >>

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