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Shifting Mandates: The Federal Reserve's First Centennial

  • Reinhart, Carmen M.
  • Rogoff, Kenneth S.

The Federal Reserve's mandate has evolved considerably over the organization's hundred-year history. It was changed from an initial focus in 1913 on financial stability, to fiscal financing in World War II and its aftermath, to a strong anti-inflation focus from the late 1970s, and then back to greater emphasis on financial stability since the Great Contraction. Yet, as the Fed's mandate has expanded in recent years, its range of instruments has narrowed, partly based on a misguided belief in the inherent stability of financial markets. We argue for a return to multiple instruments, including a more active role for reserve requirements.

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Paper provided by Harvard University Department of Economics in its series Scholarly Articles with number 11129184.

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Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in American Economic Review
Handle: RePEc:hrv:faseco:11129184
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  1. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Chapter 1," MPRA Paper 17452, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2009. "Credit Booms Gone Bust: Monetary Policy, Leverage Cycles and Financial Crises, 1870-2008," NBER Working Papers 15512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226519999 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Enrique G. Mendoza & Marco E. Terrones, 2014. "An Anatomy of Credit Booms and their Demise," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Miguel Fuentes D. & Claudio E. Raddatz & Carmen M. Reinhart (ed.), Capital Mobility and Monetary Policy, edition 1, volume 18, chapter 6, pages 165-204 Central Bank of Chile.
  5. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates
    [This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  6. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "This Time It’s Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly-Preface," MPRA Paper 17451, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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