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The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis
Ben S. Bernanke

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Readers who are not fans of the Fed chairman and his Keynesian, fiat-money policies should find as much of interest here as those who are; it's the sort of primary-source book that investors will scrutinize, politicians will seize on, pundits will plunder and generations of scholars will analyse. . . . [The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis] brings what Bernanke said in the classroom to a vastly larger audience; now, it's up to the readers of varying political and economic persuasions to make what they will of his behind-the-scenes account."--Alan Wallace, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"In March 2012, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, gave four guest lectures at George Washington University. This slim volume--at only 130 pages, comfortably finished in the time it takes to watch a TV movie--comprises those lectures apparently almost verbatim, with a few astute audience questions and answers at the end of each. . . . This is easy reading . . ."--Financial World

"The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis . . . provides a useful tutorial on the workings of an institution in its most difficult hour. For that reason alone, it makes an important contribution to the historical record."--Marc L. Ross, Financial Analysts Journal

"[T]his is a useful and highly approachable take on the history of central banking and the recent financial crisis. It's worth a read, if only to get a first-person narrative from one of the most important figures in global capital markets."--Carrie Sheffield, Washington Times

"[F]or those interested in why we have central banks, what led to the 2008 financial crisis and how the nation's top officials reacted, there isn't a better primer. . . . This is no boring textbook, despite the occasional chart. Bernanke presents a clear and engaging narrative of the economic history of the United States, while also tackling a few of the perennial anti-Fed bugaboos. . . . One of the book's most important achievements is to place the Fed's extraordinary interventions during the crisis--including the emergency lending of $1.2 trillion to the financial industry--in context."--Ben Weyl, Roll Call

"This book is, in short, not just an excellent guide to the Fed and its response to the financial crisis, but also constitutes an important document of its time, a reflection that central banks can do some very effective short-term anti-crisis measures, but they cannot be miracle workers."--Harold James, Central Banking Journal

"That loud crack you hear are the necks snapping as money-managers and financial specialists all over the country do double takes before snatching this book off the shelves."--C.D. Quyn, San Francisco Book Review

"[The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis] is a helpful primer on modern central banking by one of its preeminent practitioners."--Foreign Affairs

"The lectures, and Bernanke's answers to students' questions, are uniformly erudite, elegant and concise. Perhaps, the most arresting aspect of the lectures is the fascinating insight they provide into the thinking and motivation of the world's most powerful central banker."--Selwyn Cornish, Economic Record

"This book will be particularly useful for those teaching a class in either macroeconomics or economic history of the twentieth century at the undergraduate level, as these lectures provide a succinct and accessible account of U.S. macro policymaking over the last hundred years."--Kris James Mitchener, EH.Net

"Providing first-hand knowledge of how problems in the financial system were handled, The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis will long be studied by those interested in this critical moment in history."--World Book Industry


"In this well-organized book, Ben Bernanke tells the story of the Fed from its founding to the recent financial crisis. Bernanke's rendering is coherent and compelling."--Barry Eichengreen, author of Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System

"It is rare indeed to find a Fed chairman looking back and explaining the Fed's actions. In this valuable book, Ben Bernanke argues strongly that the Fed's decisions during the financial crisis were consistent with long-standing central banking practices. His account is an important part of the historical record."--Alan Blinder, Princeton University

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File created: 10/15/2014

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