The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is the largest, in terms of assets of the twelve regional banks. Responsible for the Second District of the Federal Reserve System, which encompasses New York state, the 12 northern counties of New Jersey, Fairfield County in Connecticut, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well as conducting open market operations -- the buying and selling of outstanding U.S. Treasury securities. In 2003, Fedwire, the Federal Reserve's system for transferring balances between it and other banks, transferred $1.8 trillion a day in funds, of which about $1.1 trillion originated in the Second District. It transferred an additional $1.3 trillion a day in securities, of which $1.2 trillion originated in the Second District. The New York Fed is also responsible for carrying out exchange rate policy by buying and selling dollars at the direction of the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors. The New York Federal Reserve is the only regional bank with a permanent vote on the Federal Open Market Committee and its president is traditionally selected as the Committee's vice chairman.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York maintains an underground vault in Manhattan. It is reputedly the largest gold repository in the world (though this cannot be confirmed as Swiss Banks do not report their gold stocks). In The US The FRBNY's stocks are larger even than Fort Knox, it is 80 feet (25 m) beneath the street and holds approx 5,000 tonnes of gold bullion ($90 billion worth at 2006 prices). The gold is owned by many foreign nations, central banks and official international organizations. The Federal Reserve Bank does not own the gold but serves as guardian of the precious metal, which it protects at no charge as a gesture of good will to other nations.
The massive rusticated walls of the Federal Reserve Bank, constructed of stone in two colors, symbolize the strength of the Federal Reservce system and the impregnability of this building. The Florentine palazza form was chosen by York & Sawyer for its association with the Medicis and other leading Renaissance families whose fortunes were made, in part, from banking.
The Federal Reserve Bank was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965.