Here’s the sneaky truth—probably not all that many people really understand his job, and maybe we’re all afraid to admit it.  But we shouldn’t be. It’s a complex if important job. Bernanke as Chairman leads the Federal Reserve, but what is the Federal Reserve? The technical answer is it is the central bank of the United States—or put more simply, it’s the government’s bank. Think of it this way: you, I, and many others each have a bank. The bank is where we put our money, the bank helps us manage our money with savings and checking accounts, and we can borrow money from our bank.  Well, the Federal Reserve essentially performs these functions for the government. There is also one big thing a central bank like the Fed does. It manages a country’s currency—the Federal Reserve decides how much money is out there and sets the government’s short-term interest rates.


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