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Who controls the Federal Reserve?

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Contrary to the saying that "the Federal Reserve is no more 'federal' than Federal Express," the Fed's central governing body is controlled by a 7-person Board of Governors who are appointed by the U.S. President and approved by the U.S. Senate. A group of 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, which are owned by 3,000 commercial member banks, carry out the Fed's operations. The directors of the regional banks are elected by the member banks and by the Board of Governors. Any or all of these directors can be suspended or removed by the Board of Governors. The Fed is also controlled by federal laws that govern its operations, and it is periodically audited for waste, fraud, and abuse by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the Fed's Inspector General, and an independent outside firm. The structure and functions of the Fed are wide-ranging and complex, which provides fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

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