Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Meeting of the Minds Sponsor

San Francisco is the headquarters of the Twelfth Federal Reserve District, which includes the nine western states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington—plus American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Of the twelve Federal Reserve Districts, the Twelfth District is the largest by geography and the size of its economy. One fifth of the nation’s population lives in the Twelfth District. In 2013, its 26.4 million workers accounted for about 19 percent of the nation’s total nonfarm employment, earning close to 21 percent of the nation’s total personal income. Twelfth District states accounted for a little over 20 percent of the nation’s exports of manufactured goods in 2013. The San Francisco Fed has unique responsibilities and areas of expertise within the Federal Reserve System. It is the headquarters for the Federal Reserve’s Cash Product Office, which oversees and supports the entire system’s cash distribution process. The San Francisco Fed hosts two specialized research centers, one in Economic Research and one in Community Development. The Center for Pacific Basin Studies promotes cooperation among central banks in the Asia-Pacific region and enhances public understanding of major Pacific Basin monetary and economic policy issues. The Center for Community Development Investments serves as a national clearinghouse of Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) investment opportunities across the country and promotes research and dialogue in the field, supporting financial institutions’ investment in community development projects such as affordable housing and small businesses. At its Market Street headquarters, the SF Fed hosts a permanent interactive exhibit, The Fed Center: Exploring our Nation’s Central Bank, designed to teach the public about the functions of the U.S. central bank. Included in the exhibit is the Currency Theatre and Museum, which displays, among other rare and valuable currency, engraved notes by Benjamin Franklin and Paul Revere. The mission of the Community Development function of the Federal Reserve System is to support the economic growth objectives of the Federal Reserve Act by promoting community development and fair and equal access to credit. To this end, the Community Development department seeks to promote: • The active engagement of depository institutions in traditionally underserved markets for credit and other banking services; • Cooperation between community organizations and financial institutions to their mutual benefit; • Greater public understanding of financial services products, their intrinsic benefits and risks, and the consumer’s rights and responsibilities as expressed in pertinent regulations; • A better understanding, on the part of policymakers, community leaders, and private decision-makers, of the process of community development, the factors critical to success, and best practice models of community development programs; and • A better understanding of the effect of Federal Reserve policies on the less advantaged segments of the economy.