NPR logo

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88488995/88491741" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
The Federal Reserve, Explained

The Federal Reserve, Explained

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/88488995/88491741" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

This past weekend, the Federal Reserve bailed out Bear Stearns, a notable Wall Street bank that was on the verge of collapsing due to losses in the mortgage market. It got us thinking about what the Fed is, exactly, and how it has come to serve as a sort of safety net for major corporations. Why was the Fed able to bail out Bear Stearns, and will it be able to keep this up? Vincent Reinhart, the former director of the Federal Reserve Board's Division of Monetary Affairs, will elucidate these questions for us today. And if you have other questions about the Fed, leave them here.