The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the largest in the Federal Reserve System to oversee US bank activities. It issues currency, clears money transfers, and lends to banks in its district. In addition to the duties it shares with 11 other regional Federal Reserve Banks, the New York Fed trades US government securities to regulate the money supply, intervenes on foreign exchange markets, and stores monetary gold for foreign central banks and governments. The New York Fed's district is relatively small (made up of New York, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, northern New Jersey, and Fairfield County, Connecticut), but the bank is the largest in the Federal Reserve System in assets and volume of transactions.
Secured in a vault 80 feet below street level in the New York Fed's Manhattan headquarters is billions of dollars worth of gold -- some 25% to 30% of the world's official monetary gold reserves. The vault rests on Manhattan Island's bedrock, considered to be one of the few foundations adequate enough to support the weight of the vault and its contents.
The New York Fed has assumed a prominent role during the credit crisis, which began in 2007. The bank's assets have more than tripled as it has expanded its lending to depository institutions and has increased its liquidity swaps with foreign central banks. The New York Fed also facilitated JPMorgan Chase's takeover of failed investment bank Bear Stearns, and has provided financial support to troubled financial services giants AIG and Citigroup.
In 2009 president and CEO Timothy Geithner left New York Fed to succeed Henry Paulson as the US Treasury secretary. His role as president and CEO was filled by William Dudley. – less