By David E. Lindsey
A narrative historical past through a Fed insider of the way financial coverage is formed within the US, with particular emphasis at the performances of former Chairman Ben Bernanke and present Chairwoman Janet Yellen in dealing with the prelude, outbreak, and aftermath of the 2008 monetary crisis.
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Additional info for A Century of Monetary Policy at the Fed: Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, and the Financial Crisis of 2008
I place the blame for the start of the downturn, the stock market crash, and the early development of the Great Depression squarely on the lagged effects of the restrictiveness in monetary policy in 1928 and much of 1929 that the Fed established to resist the stock market boom. 21 Then, simply as a policy judgment, albeit constrained by the rules of the gold standard, the Fed was much too halting in forcing short-term interest rates to zero by buying securities in volume. The conclusion that comes to my mind is drawn from modern macroeconomic theory.
I replied that I thought I did, but, just to be sure, what did he believe it stood for? ’”1 I’ll add just two comments regarding that story. First, FOMC is an acronym that in truth always stands for the Federal Open Market Committee. Second, I actually attended that lunch, and I remember vividly what Meyer described and who cracked the joke. It was none other than Timothy F. Geithner, later himself president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and vice chairman of the aforementioned FOMC before becoming Secretary of the Treasury.
3. The demand for money relative to current dollar spending is predictable in the long run. Hence, changes in money growth have major effects on the expansion of aggregate spending, which show up predictably over time as variations in the rate of inflation. But the effects of changes in money growth on spending are long and variable, so that the short-run impact of ups and downs in money growth on spending is unpredictable. 4. Given the uncertain short-run effects of changes in money growth as well as the structure of incentives facing politicians, the government can’t be trusted to use its monetary policy stabilization tool in the public interest.