"Is the Fed Private or Public?" Perhaps this can clarify a little bit?http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2008/09/is_the_fed_private_or_public.html
It's a decentralized central bank, inside the government and independent from it.
On Wednesday, the Explainer described why the U.S. Federal Reserve happened to have $85 billion lying around to bail out American International Group. By Thursday afternoon, our inbox was deluged with e-mails asking why we made the Fed sound like a government agency by using the terms "Fed" and "government" interchangeably in reference to the AIG loan deal. Wait a minute: Is the Federal Reserve public or private?
It's neither. From one perspective, the Fed looks like a public institution: Congress created it in 1913 to maintain the stability of the financial system; the president appoints, and the Senate confirms, the members of its Board of Governors; and it's not out to make a profitafter taking care of expenses, the Fed hands off its earnings to the Treasury. Furthermore, the details of its responsibilities are subject to congressional oversight. Still, the Fed is rightly classified as an independent central bank. Neither the executive branch nor the legislature gets a direct say in its decision-making, and it pays for its own operations (primarily by acquiring U.S. government securities on the open market). In short, the Fed is an independent entity within the government.
The Fed is organized like a federationthere's a central governing agency in Washington, D.C., and 12 regional banks scattered across the country. These 12 banks issue shares of stock to thousands of private member banks, including institutions like the Deutsche Bank Trust Co. of America and the Gotham Bank of New York. But regional bank membership isn't like owning stock in Coca-Cola. The member banks are not allowed to sell or trade their shares, which produce dividends at a fixed rate of 6 percent. And they must invest 3 percent of their capital in the Federal Reserve Banks.
Most are fine with that being they are arse kissers and money worshipers. Live the American Dream. As long as I've got it and you don't I'm OK with it.
Edited to add links...
here is the Fed Audit folks by the GAO
It seems are tax dollars have gone to banks over seas
"As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world," said Sanders. "This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you're-on-your-own individualism for everyone else."
Among the investigation's key findings is that the Fed unilaterally provided trillions of dollars in financial assistance to foreign banks and corporations from South Korea to Scotland, according to the GAO report. "No agency of the United States government should be allowed to bailout a foreign bank or corporation without the direct approval of Congress and the president," Sanders said.
For example, the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served on the New York Fed's board of directors at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. Moreover, JP Morgan Chase served as one of the clearing banks for the Fed's emergency lending programs.
In another disturbing finding, the GAO said that on Sept. 19, 2008, William Dudley, who is now the New York Fed president, was granted a waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric at the same time AIG and GE were given bailout funds. One reason the Fed did not make Dudley sell his holdings, according to the audit, was that it might have created the appearance of a conflict of interest.
To Sanders, the conclusion is simple. "No one who works for a firm receiving direct financial assistance from the Fed should be allowed to sit on the Fed's board of directors or be employed by the Fed," he said.