The Federal Reserve is the current central bank, residing in 12 locations, with 24 branches. It was created on December 23, 1913. President Woodrow Wilson believed this act, to create this system, was the safest way to achieve a better monetary, and financial system. (Monetary Policy is a name for the policies covering the flow of money through the economy. It affects interest rates and overall success of the U.S. economy.) Ideally this institution would allow for the maximum amount of employment, cash flow, and control over inflation/deflation rates. Around 38% of the nations banks are known as member banks, a bank regulated by the Fed. Several councils and committees exist, most notably the FOMC, or Federal Open Market committee (the group responsible for managing the monetary policy). The Federal Advisory Council, the Thrift Institutions Advisory Council, the Consumer Advisory Council all discuss interests and issues involving the bank over the year. This is a very basic summary, but a necessary one, to understand the current bank, and its parts.