Economics & Finance

The Myth of Independence: How Congress Governs the Federal Reserve

An in-depth look at how politics and economics shape the relationship between Congress and the Federal Reserve


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Jul 9, 2019
6.13 x 9.25 in.
38 b/w illus. 11 tables. 1 map.
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Born out of crisis a century ago, the Federal Reserve has become the most powerful macroeconomic policymaker and financial regulator in the world. The Myth of Independence marshals archival sources, interviews, and statistical analyses to trace the Fed’s transformation from a weak, secretive, and decentralized institution in 1913 to a remarkably transparent central bank a century later. Offering a unique account of Congress’s role in steering this evolution, Sarah Binder and Mark Spindel explore the Fed’s past, present, and future and challenge the myth of its independence.

Awards and Recognition

  • Finalist for the 31st D.B. Hardeman Prize, LBJ Foundation
  • Winner of the 2018 Gladys M. Kammerer Award, American Political Science Association
  • Winner of the 2018 Richard F. Fenno, Jr. Prize, Legislative Studies Section of the American Political Science Association
  • One of Project Syndicate’s Best Reads in 2017 (chosen by Koichi Hamada)