In 2012, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, gave a series of lectures about the Federal Reserve and the 2008 financial crisis, as part of a course at George Washington University on the role of the Federal Reserve in the economy. In this unusual event, Bernanke revealed important background and insights into the central bank's crucial actions during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Taken directly from these historic talks, The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis offers insight into the guiding principles behind the Fed's activities and the lessons to be learned from its handling of recent economic challenges.
Bernanke traces the origins of the Federal Reserve, from its inception in 1914 through the Second World War, and he looks at the Fed post-1945, when it began operating independently from other governmental departments such as the Treasury. During this time the Fed grappled with episodes of high inflation, finally tamed by then-chairman Paul Volcker. Bernanke also explores the period under his predecessor, Alan Greenspan, known as the Great Moderation. Bernanke then delves into the Fed's reaction to the recent financial crisis, focusing on the central bank's role as the lender of last resort and discussing efforts that injected liquidity into the banking system. Bernanke points out that monetary policies alone cannot revive the economy, and he describes ongoing structural and regulatory problems that need to be addressed.
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.
Ben S. Bernanke is chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. He has served as chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Before his time in public service he was a professor of economics at Princeton University. His many books include Essays on the Great Depression and Inflation Targeting (both Princeton).
"Anyone interested in a primer on recent financial history will likely find Bernanke's book to be worthwhile reading."--Publishers Weekly
"The lectures are consistently lucid and informal . . . and above all intelligent and interesting. . . . [I]t would be difficult to find a better short and not very technical account of what went wrong, and of how the Fed (and the Treasury) managed to keep it from getting much worse."--Robert Solow, New Republic
"The author examines what the Federal Reserve was intended to accomplish, how it performed its statutory task as it evolved over time and the special functions of the lender-of-last-resort that have been called upon during the financial crisis. These lectures provide a useful primer on matters not often presented in such a comprehensive or unequivocal way. Bernanke's reputation is often identified with his expertise on the Great Depression. Here, he presents himself differently, as a practitioner of central banking. . . . A great introduction to the functioning of central banking for general readers."--Kirkus Reviews
"This important book deserves to be read widely both because Bernanke admirably explains the Fed and its actions and because his authorship provides a window into his thinking as one of the world's most powerful financial figures."--Library Journal (starred review)
Table of Contents:
Publisher's Note vii
Lecture 1 - Origins and Mission of the Federal Reserve 1
Lecture 2 - The Federal Reserve after World War II 29
Lecture 3 - The Federal Reserve's Response to the Financial Crisis 64
Lecture 4 - The Aftermath of the Crisis 97
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Ben S. Bernanke: