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Established in 1913, the Federal Reserve System, known colloquially as the Fed, is the U.S. central bank. It comprises the Federal Reserve Board and the 12 Federal Reserve Banks in major U.S. cities. The Fed controls U.S. monetary policy and oversees the banking industry. The seven members of the Fed's board of governors are nominated by the U.S. President and confirmed by the Senate. A full term is 14 years. The chairman of the Fed, one of the seven governors, is nominated by the U.S. President and serves a term of four years. The presidents of the Federal Reserve Banks are appointed by the directors of each Bank, with the approval of the Fed governors, for a term of five years. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), a sub-committee of the Federal Reserve, sets U.S. interest rates.
See also: http://www.federalreserve.gov/