12 Pages

The Federal


An article appearing in the February 25, 1983 edition of The Washington Post was entitled simply "Volcker." The name is so familiar today that it is hardly necessary to identify him in the open­ ing sentence as "Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker." The article reported his February 24th testimony before the Senate Bud­ get Committee. During the latter part of January and earlier in Feb­ ruary, he had already testified before the Senate and House Banking Committees and the Joint Economic Committee and, as February drew to a close, he appeared on "Meet the Press." Why is there such interest in the Federal Reserve System which this year marks its 70th Anniversary? Why have recent polls ranked its Chairman as the second most influential American-preceded only by the Presi­ dent of the United States? Before looking in depth at the Federal Reserve System Libraries and their special collections, an examina­ tion of the history of the System, its structure and responsibilities will prove useful.