FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Definition

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FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (The Fed) is the central bank of the United States created by Congress, consisting of a seven-member Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks and depository institutions that are subject to reserve requirements. All national banks are members; state-chartered banks may elect to become members and state members are supervised by the Board of Governors and the Reserve Banks. Reserve requirements established by the Fed apply to nonmember depository institutions as well as member banks. Both classes of institutions share equal access to Federal Reserve discount borrowing privileges and Federal Reserve services.

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DISCRETIONARY SPENDING consists of US government expenditures that are set on an annual basis. It is a budget that members of Congress can adjust on a yearly basis. Examples of discretionary spending in the United States:

-defense budget
-education
-Environmental Protection Agency
-Department of Veterans Affairs

When looking to cut costs, lawmakers usually look to trimming discretionary spending. See MANDATORY SPENDING.

TREASURY is, dependent upon usage, a. the funds of a government or institution or individual; b. the government department responsible for collecting and managing and spending public revenues; or, c. a depository (a room or building) where wealth and precious objects can be kept safely.

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