The Federal Reserve Bank is a public entity; it is not owned by the banks. The Federals Reserve is a public entity and each of the members of the board of governors is appointed by the president and approved by Congress, the money earned by the Federal Reserve beyond the expenses is paid to Congress. The bankers would love to get rid of the Federal Reserve and the restrictions it imposes and go to “free” banking! However predominately bankers have been appointed to the Board of Governors, through their political power. The Fed caused much damage by acting to prevent inflation. In 1937 the Fed restricted the money supply “to fight inflation” and killed the economy that had been recovering; in the 1980’s the Fed acted again “to fight inflation”–this time they raised the interest rates very high which put many farmers and small businesses out of business, made the value of the dollar very high which caused imports to be cheap and killed businesses exporting and sent jobs overseas. They could have acted to restrict the money supply as they did in 1937 without killing so many businesses. Furthermore the inflation of the 1970s and 80s was caused by the increase in the money supply by the very banks that demanded and got the restriction on interest rates removed.
The Great Recession was caused and greatly contributed to by the actions of raising interest rates and thus increasing the pile up of debt by people and the governments!!
I wasn’t aware of what happened in 1937 (I started the second grade that year.), however I know that as a family we experienced a great setback–we became poorer–and life became grim.