What Is the Federal Reserve Bank of New York?

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, or New York Fed, is the Federal Reserve bank that is responsible for the second district and is located in New York City. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the most important of the 12 Reserve banks in the Federal Reserve System.

Key Takeaways

  • The Federal Reserve Bank of New York covers New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. It also serves Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • The New York Fed is the primary conduit of the Fed's monetary policy through open market operations, emergency lending facilities, quantitative easing, and foreign exchange transactions.
  • It also stores gold on behalf of the U.S. and foreign governments, other nation's central banks, and international organizations. 

Understanding the Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, along with the other Federal Reserve Banks, is responsible for executing the central bank's monetary policy by reviewing price inflation and economic growth, and by regulating the banks within its territory. It provides cash to banks within its district, as well as monitoring electronic deposits.

The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, along with the presidents of the other Banks and the seven governors of the Federal Reserve Board, meet to decide the course of monetary policy eight times per year. This is referred to as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York they implements the policies set out by the FOMC, primarily through Permanent Open Market Operations by its Open Market Trading Desk. The Desk buys (and sometimes sells) U.S. Treasury securities from primary dealers with new bank reserves simultaneously created as part of the transaction in order to increase (or decrease) the supply of money and credit in the economy.

The Desk also conducts repurchase and reverse repurchase agreements with primary dealers. The New York Fed's manipulation of the money supply through open market operations is intended to achieve Fed policy targets for interest rates, inflation, and unemployment. 

Other Monetary Policy Duties

The New York Fed also plays a major role in nonstandard monetary policy and the many special lending facilities the Fed executes during times of economic stress to support the financial system. This includes programs rolled out in response to the 2007-08 Financial Crisis. These programs include multiple rounds of quantitative easing executed through the Open Market Trading Desk, as well as special discount lending facilities targeted at specific industries or asset classes.

The New York Fed also acts as the Fed's primary agent to intervene in foreign exchange markets. The FOMC or the Treasury can direct the Open Market Trading Desk to buy and sell dollars in exchange for other foreign currencies in order to support or reduce the dollar's value relative to other currencies, or to stabilize volatile market exchange rates. 

Because of these key roles in the implementation of ongoing and emergency monetary and financial operations, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is considered the most important bank in the Federal Reserve System, and probably the world. 

The New York Fed's vaults store gold bullion for many foreign governments and organizations.

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Image by Sabrina Jiang © Investopedia 2020

Characteristics and Organization

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is in the second district, which includes New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut. It also serves Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. John Williams is the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, succeeding William Dudley who retired in mid-2018. 

Bank notes printed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York are denoted by the mark "B2," which represents the second district; "B" is also the second letter of the alphabet.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York district covers the critically important financial centers of the New York City, including Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. Due to its location, the New York Fed is the primary institution charged with conducting the Fed's open market operations. It is also a major repository of the world's gold reserves, which the bank holds on behalf of the U.S. and foreign governments, other nation's central banks, and official international organizations that help to manage the global financial system.