Inside the World's Mightiest Bank: The Federal Reserve

Inside the World’s Mightiest Bank: The Federal Reserve (51:00)
Item# 11908

As the anchor of the global economy, the Federal Reserve Bank handles more money than any other bank in the world. This program explores the far-reaching responsibilities of the Federal Reserve in setting interest rates, regulating other U.S. banks, and making new money. For the first time, cameras go inside the Fed’s network command center, the hub of an electronic payment system called FEDWIRE where banks and big institutions pay each other and where over $2.1 trillion changes hands each day. The program also looks at the fascinating manufacture of U.S. currency and high-tech ways to combat counterfeiting. A Discovery Channel Production. (51 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (12)

1. Function of Federal Reserve (04:33)
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The Federal Reserve Bank serves as America's central bank. By controlling interest rates, Alan Greenspan oversees the bank growing the American economy without having inflation.

2. Gold Bars (02:39)

Seventy billion dollars worth of gold, mostly belonging to other countries, is stored in the deep basement of New York's Federal Reserve Bank. Gold has nothing to do with the American dollar.

3. Electronic Payments (01:57)

FEDWIRE is the electronic payment system where banks and big institutions pay each other.

4. Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland (03:58)

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland stores massive amounts of cash. Security is high to protect cash deliveries from armored trucks. Machines process 12 million banknotes per day.

5. Counterfeit Banknotes (03:40)

Machines set aside any notes that are suspect. U.S. Secret Service examines the fake bills that total $40 million per year. The digital revolution contributes the ease of making false bills.

6. Monetary Design Changes (06:11)

Changing bill designs is a complex process in which engravers may take up to eight months to create a single portrait. The printing process is complex and precise.

7. Banknote Paper (03:37)

The particular feel of banknotes is an essential factor in banknotes' identities. Traditionally, denim is the cloth that becomes the cellulous pulp of money.

8. Security Features and Inspections (07:01)

Security strips and watermarks are special security features of banknotes that make them difficult to counterfeit. Banknote paper goes through rigorous inspection processes.

9. Printing and Bundling Banknotes (05:53)

Approximately $400 hundred million dollars worth of banknotes are printed each day at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C. Each day three tons of ink are used to print money.

10. New Banknotes (02:31)

New banknotes are sent to Federal Reserve banks all over the country. Two-thirds of all U.S. currency is now held in foreign countries.

11. Transational Counterfeiting (03:22)

U.S. currency is the most counterfeited of all currencies. Databases keep track of characteristics of counterfeit bills. Currency paper is the most difficult thing for counterfeiters to simulate.

12. Forensic Science (04:35)

Forensic scientists use many methods to test counterfeit currency. Counterfeiters' fingerprints can often be lifted from fake bills. Fake "super notes" may be made outside the U.S.

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