Here's an interesting place to go. Whenever I have had to write a larger chunk of software, the Powers That Be always want traceability - what requirement drove that particular thingamabob?
So, when it comes to the Fed, it might be helpful to look at what existed before. Milton Friedman wrote some about this in his excellent book "Free to Choose" (which was also a series originally shown on PBS before they completely shut out all of those running-dog-capitalist-roader types ... :-)
The Fed, as I read about it, was created to keep bank panics from crashing regional economies. That's the best summary I can come up with without writing a book myself.
So, the Fed has done a really great job. Starting with the recession after WWI, they managed to take sector-level or regional panics and turn them into full-blown recessions or depressions, over and over, while debasing the underlying currency a step at a time.
Nice work when you can get it.