First Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

[Audio tour #764] The Federal Reserve Board was created by Congress in 1914 through the Federal Reserve Act to be the governing body of the Federal Reserve System. The President of the United States was responsible for appointing five members to the Board, subject to the approval of the Senate. The Secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency were originally considered ex officio members. Pictured here are: Paul M. Warburg; John Skelton Williams, Comptroller of the Currency; William P. G. Harding; Adolph C. Miller; Charles S. Hamlin; William G. McAdoo, Secretary of the Treasury; and Frederic A. Delano. One of the Board's earliest conflicts concerned the strong representation of the Treasury Department on the Board. Some members were concerned that the presence of William McAdoo and John Skelton Williams created an inadvisable link to the administration. They were concerned that this close relationship to the Treasury might create a conflict of interest and lead to undue political influence in the setting of monetary policy. These issues were later resolved in the Banking Act of 1935, which eliminated the requirement for the Secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller of the Currency to serve on the Board.

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