Review of Allan H. Meltzer's A history of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2, University of Chicago Press, 2009
This is a review of Allan Meltzer's "A History of the Federal Reserve, Volume 2." By carefully reviewing thousands of transcripts and records, Meltzer's history lets policy makers explain their decisions in their own words, and creatively weaves historical events into a single exceptionally clear story as he did in Volume 1. In this review I first examine the book's main theme--that discretionary monetary policy failed in the Great Depression (1929-1933), in the Great Inflation (1965-1980), and in the recent Great Recession (2007-2009)--and then consider its main conclusion--that monetary policy should be based on less discretion and more rule-like behavior.
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