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FEDERAL RESERVE ACT.
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An Act To provide for the establishment of Federal reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper, to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
1. Wherever the word "bank” is used in this Act, the word shall be held to include State bank, banking association, and trust company, except where national banks or Federal reserve banks are specifically referred to.
The terms "national bank" and "national banking association” used in this Act shall be held to be synonymous and interchangeable. The term “member bank” shall be held to mean any national bank, State bank, or bank or trust company which has become a member of one of the reserve banks created by this Act. The term “board” shall be held to mean Federal Reserve Board; the term “district” shall be held to mean Federal reserve district; the term “reserve bank” shall be held to mean Federal reserve bank.
ORGANIZATION COMMITTEE-FEDERAL RESERVE DISTRICTS.
2. Sec. 2. As soon as practicable, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Comptroller of the Currency, acting as "The Reserve Bank Organization Committee," shall designate not less than eight nor more than twelve cities to be known as Federal reserve cities, and shall divide the continental United States, excluding Alaska, into districts, each district to contain only one of such Federal reserve cities. The determination of said organization committee shall not be subject to review except by the Federal Reserve Board when organized: Provided, That the districts shall be apportioned with due regard to the convenience and customary course of business, and shall not necessarily be coterminous with any State or States. The districts thus created may be readjusted and new districts may from time to time be created by the Federal Reserve Board, not to exceed twelve in all. Such districts shall be known as Federal reserve districts and may be designated by number. A majority of the organization committee shall constitute a quorum, with authority to act. ORGANIZATION OF RESERVE BANKS.
3. Said organization committee shall be authorized to employ counsel and expert aid, to take testimony, to send for persons and papers, to administer oaths, and to make such investigation as may be deemed necessary by the said committee in determining the reserve districts and in designating the cities within such districts where such Federal reserve banks shall be severally located. The said committee shall supervise the organization in each of the cities designated of a
Federal reserve bank, which shall include in its title the name of the city in which it is situated, as "Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.'
NATIONAL BANKS REQUIRED AND STATE BANKS AND TRUST
COMPANIES AUTHORIZED TO ACCEPT ACT. 4. Under regulations to be prescribed by the organization committee, every national banking association in the United States is hereby required, and every eligible bank in the United States and every trust company within the District of Columbia, is hereby authorized to signify in writing, within sixty days after the passage of this Act, its acceptance of the terms and provisions hereof. When the organization committee shall have designated the cities in which Federal reserve banks are to be organized, and fixed the geographical limits of the Federal reserve districts, every national banking association within that district shall be required within thirty days after notice from the organization committee, to subscribe to the capital stock of such Federal reserve bank in a sum equal to six per centum of the paid-up capital stock and surplus of such bank, one-sixth of the subscription to be payable on call of the organization committee or of the Federal Reserve Board, one-sixth within three months, and one-sixth within six months thereafter, and the remainder of the subscription, or any part thereof, shall be subject to call when deemed necessary by the Federal Reserve Board, said payments to be in gold or gold certificates.
RESPONSIBILITY OF SHAREHOLDERS.
5. The shareholders of every Federal reserve bank shall be held individually responsible, equally and ratably, and not one for another, for all contracts, debts and engagements of such bank to the extent of the amount of their subscriptions to such stock at the par value thereof, in addition to the amount subscribed, whether such subscriptions have been paid up in whole or in part, under the provisions of this Act.
PENALTY FOR FAILURE TO ACCEPT ACT.
6. Any national bank failing to signify its acceptance of the terms of this Act within the sixtv days aforesaid, shall cease to act as a reserve agent, upon thirty days' notice, to be given within the discretion of the said organization committee or of the Federal Reserve Board.
7. Should any national banking association in the United States now organized fail within one year after the passage of this Act to become a member bank or fail to comply with any of the provisions of this Act applicable thereto, all of the rights, privileges, and franchises of such association granted to it under the national-bank Act, or under the provisions of this Act. shall be thereby forfeited. Any noncompliance with or violation of this Act, shall, however, he determined and adjudged by any court of the United States of competent jurisdiction in a suit brought for that purpose in the district or territory in which such bank is located, under direction of the Federal Reserve Board, by the Comptroller of the Currency in his own name before the association shall be declared dissolved. In cases of such noncompliance or violation, other than the failure to become a member bank under the provisions of this Act, every director who participated in or assented to the same shall be held liable in his personal or individual capacity
for all damages which said bank, its shareholders, or any other person shall have sustained in consequence of such violation.
8. Such dissolution shall not take away or impair any remedy against such corporation, its stockholders or officers, for any liability or penalty which shall have been previously incurred. PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION TO STOCK.
9. Should the subscriptions by banks to the stock of said Federal reserve banks or any one or more of them be, in the judgment of the organization committee, insufficient to provide the amount of capital required therefor, then and in that event the said organization committee may, under conditions and regulations to be prescribed by it, offer to public subscription at par such an amount of stock in said Federal reserve banks, or any one or more of them, as said committee shall determine, subject to the same conditions as to payment and stock liability as provided for member banks. AMOUNT OF STOCK PRIVATELY HELD LIMITED.
10. No individual, copartnership, or corporation other than a member bank of its district shall be permitted to subscribe for or to hold at any time more than $25,000 par value of stock in any Federal Reserve bank. Such stocks shall be known as public stock and may be transferred on the books of the Federal reserve bank by the chairman of the board of directors of such bank. GOVERNMENT STOCK.
11. Should the total subscriptions by banks and the public to the stock of said Federal reserve banks, or any one or more of them, be, in the judgment of the organization committee, insufficient to provide the amount of capital required therefor, then and in that event the said organization conimittee shall allot to the United States such an amount of said stock as said committee shall determine. Said United States stock shall be paid for at par out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, and shall be held by the Secretary of the Treasury and disposed of for the benefit of the United States in such manner, at such times and at such price, not less than par, as the Secretary of the Treasury shall determine. VOTING POWER.
12. Stock not held by member banks shall not be entitled to voting power. STOCK TRANSFERS.
13. The Federal Reserve Board is hereby empowered to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations governing the transfers of said stock. CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS-RESERVE CITIES_APPROPRIATION
FOR ORGANIZATION. 14. No Federal reserve bank shall commence business with a subscribed capital less that $4,000,000. The organization of reserve districts and Federal reserve cities shall not be construed as changing the present status of reserve cities and central reserve cities, except in so far as this Act changes the amount of reserves that may be carried with approved reserve agents located therein. The organization committee shall have power to appoint such assistants and incur such