The business of the Federal Reserve Board is handled through committees of the members, who prepare the matters to be acted upon and report them to the full board for determination. The board appoints all its officers and employees, with the exception of the governor and vice-governor, who are designated by the President. The main offices are in the Treasury Building at Washington, where meetings are held at various times during the week as business requires.
The administrative duties consist of such regular and recurring duties as approving discount rates, granting power to members to accept bills drawn upon them up to 100 per cent of their capital and surplus, preparation of reports, determination of salaries, passing on increases and decreases of capital stock of the reserve banks, and so forth, and of such occasional duties as may arise in the execution of the law.
During the period of organization and development the board had to determine its general policies and prepare rules and regulations governing the operations of the system. This work has been constructive and highly important, and in carrying it out the board consulted freely with reserve bank officials, the advisory council, and others. Periodical conferences are held with the various federal reserve agents and with the various governors of the federal reserve banks, both of which classes are organized and have frequent conferences among themselves. In this way a high degree of unity, uniform practice, and co-operation has been achieved in our system. The board refrains from interfering with the local administrative practice of the reserve banks except where necessary to effect uniformity.
The preparation of rules and regulations and of definitions is a very difficult and important part of the board's work. Even after the rules and regulations are fixed, they are subject to change, but since they affect vitally the conduct of banking and business in general, it is desirable that they be fixed in as nearly permanent a form as possible. The volume of this sort of work, however, will decline as the system gets established. The board has also been active in educational work, through the publication of reports, circulars, and press statements, and through lectures by its members.
The board has no source of income, but it has power to assess its expenses upon the federal reserve banks in proportion to their capitalization. The expenses, levied semiannually, amount to less than $250,000 per year.