The United States’ central bank independent of the government (or the Treasury) that has the following roles:

  1. Setting Interest Rates: The Federal Reserve has a significant influence over the interest rates in the U.S. economy. It can adjust the Federal Funds Rate to control inflation and stabilize the economy.

  2. Managing the Money Supply: The Fed controls the amount of money circulating in the economy through measures such as open market operations, reserve requirements for banks, and setting the discount rate [>=Federal Funds Rate].

  3. Regulating Financial Markets: It supervises and regulates banks to ensure they are safe and sound. It also monitors their impact on the financial system. (This is separate from the SEC)

  4. Acting as a Lender of Last Resort: In times of financial distress or crisis, the Federal Reserve provides funds to financially strained banks to prevent bankruptcy and protect the economy. (This causes problems of Too Big To Fail)

  5. Maintaining Financial Stability: The Fed works to maintain the stability of the financial system and contain systemic risk that may arise in financial markets.

  6. Providing Banking Services to Depository Institutions: These services include supplying the economy with fiat money (U.S. dollar), managing those finances, and processing payments.

  7. Conducting National Monetary Policy: The Fed works towards achieving maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates in the U.S. economy.

  8. Preventing Banking Panics: The Fed was initially created to prevent widespread panics in the banking sector. Today, it continues to act as a stabilizing force in the financial system.

  9. Promoting a Safe and Effective Payment System: The Federal reserve system also ensures the reliability of payment methods including checks, cash, and electronic transactions.

Keep in mind that these roles and responsibilities may evolve over time, and additional duties may be undertaken depending on economic and financial conditions.