Federal Reserve Bank – A financial crisis is a terrible thing to waste

Federal Reserve Bank – A financial crisis is a terrible thing to waste

I visited the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis on their 100-year anniversary. Their value is very clear - protect BEV (Bank, Employees, Valuables) with “above reproach” integrity. Their mandate is to maximize employment and price stability, and they do this through several key activities:

  1. Influence supply of money and credit
  2. Respond to financial panics
  3. Regulate and supervise financial institutions
  4. Serve as banking and fiscal agent for US government

One interesting comment during the tour was, “a financial crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” referring to the global recession in 2008, which could have been significantly worse than many of us knew. They recorded “lessons learned” during the crises in order to learn and not repeat.

There were many innovations then when they tried new things, as they applied their “lessons learned” in order to attempt to prevent it from happening again. This reminds me of the idea of “Luck,” as life favoring the prepared.

Does your organization prepare for the future by learning lessons from the past?


PS – some other interesting tidbits:

  • This bank receives $25 Million in deposits/day

  • The counting machine scans 40 notes/second

  • Through evaluation, this machine determines the bill quality...and it shreds $2M/day

  • It also determines authenticity, as 6-10 suspect counterfeit bills per day are sent to the Secret Service for verification

  • The door to the vault is 45 tons and 3.5 feet thick

  • Only 12 people touch the money - they have controls, procedures and regulations to manage custody of this asset.

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