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Federal Reserve System
The central bank system of the United States. The Federal Reserve regulates the monetary policy of the United States, especially by setting the discount rate and the fed funds rate and by buying and selling U.S. Treasury securities. It consists of 12 regional banks that operate under the guidance of a Federal Reserve Board, whose seven members are appointed by the President of the United States. The Federal Reserve System has the authority to print money, a controversial measure both now and at the time it was founded. All federally-chartered banks must belong to the Federal Reserve System and purchase a certain amount of stock in the Federal Reserve bank in charge of their particular regions. The Federal Reserve System was established in 1913.