Inside the Fed: Monetary Policy and Its Management, Martin through Greenspan to Bernanke
Stephen Axilrod is the ultimate Federal Reserve insider. He worked at the Fed’s Board of Governors for more than thirty years and after that in private markets and as a consultant on monetary policy. With Inside the Fed, he offers his unique perspective on the inner workings of the Federal Reserve System during the last fifty years—writing about personalities as much as policy—based on his knowledge and observations of every Fed chairman since 1951. This new, post-financial meltdown edition offers his assessment of the Fed’s action (and inaction) during the crisis and expanded coverage of the Fed in the Bernanke era. In this revised edition, Axilrod gives an account of the Fed’s dramatic, even mind-bending, experiences in the great credit crisis of 2007-2009. He assesses the full range of the Fed’s unusual and innovative actions during the crisis and the beginnings of its aftermath. He questions whether the Fed used its monetary and regulatory powers to full effect to minimize and contain the disruption of the nation’s—and the world’s—financial stability. And, in an entirely new chapter, he evaluates Bernanke’s performance through his full first term (as well as the early part of his second) in light of his actions during the crisis. In later chapters he also reevaluates the image, stature, and structure of the Fed in the aftermath of the crisis and the new comprehensive financial legislation subsequently enacted. Great leadership in monetary policy, Axilrod says, is determined not by pure economic sophistication but by the ability to push through political and social barriers to achieve a paradigm shift in policy—and by the courage and bureaucratic moxie to pull it off.
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