A Term at the Fed

A Term at the Fed

by Laurence H. Meyer
     
 

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As a governor of the Federal Reserve Board from 1996 to 2002, Laurence H. Meyer helped make the economic policies that steered the United States through some of the wildest and most tumultuous times in its recent history. Now, in A Term at the Fed, Governor Meyer provides an insider's view of the Fed, the decisions that affected both the U.S. and world

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Overview

As a governor of the Federal Reserve Board from 1996 to 2002, Laurence H. Meyer helped make the economic policies that steered the United States through some of the wildest and most tumultuous times in its recent history. Now, in A Term at the Fed, Governor Meyer provides an insider's view of the Fed, the decisions that affected both the U.S. and world economies, and the challenges inherent in using monetary policy to guide the economy.

When Governor Meyer was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 1996, the United States was entering one of the most prosperous periods in its history. It was the time of "irrational exuberance" and the fabled New Economy. Soon, however, the economy was tested by the Asian financial crisis, the Russian default and devaluation, the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, the bursting of America's stock bubble, and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

In what amounts to a definitive playbook of monetary policy, Meyer now relives the Fed's closed-door debates -- debates that questioned how monetary policy should adapt to the possibility of a New Economy, how the Fed should respond to soaring equity prices, and whether the Fed should broker the controversial private sector bailout of LTCM, among other issues. Meyer deftly weaves these issues with firsthand stories about the personalities involved, from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan to the various staffers, governors, politicians, and reporters that populate the world of the Fed.

Since the end of his term, Meyer has continued to watch the Fed and the world economy. He believes that we are witnessing a repetition of some of the events of the remarkable 1990s -- including a further acceleration in productivity and perhaps another bull market. History does not repeat itself, yet Meyer shows us how the lessons learned yesterday may help the Fed shape policy today.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Meyer was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board by President Clinton in 1996, and his term coincided with some of the most momentous economic events of the second half of the 20th century-the collapse of the Asian banking system, the implosion of the Russian economy and the birth and death of the so-called New Economy. Meyer was at the center of global financial policy making and witness to the inner workings of arguably the most powerful government agency in the world. Unfortunately, too much jargon and unrelated personal anecdotes clutter the text; Meyer stumbles from blithe personal asides ("I figured that if I didn't faint or throw up on the President, the nomination was mine"). He is strongest at summarizing complex macroeconomic theory and practice. His breezy style helps unlock the mystery of national monetary policy and global finance. A mystery unsolved is that of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is the central figure of the book. Though in close contact with him for six years, Meyer offers no more insight than one might find in a weekly news magazine. While broadly informative and certainly unique, the book represents an opportunity lost. Illus. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Economist Meyer (Ctr. for Strategic and International Studies, Washington Univ.) served on the Federal Reserve Bank's Board of Governors from 1996 through 2001. His behind-the-scenes account presents the events, policies, politics, and people that shaped our monetary policy during this unusually volatile period, which saw the booming Nineties give way to a series of shocks ranging from the Asian meltdown to 9/11. Meyer discusses the power of the chairman, especially Alan Greenspan, who is expected to serve a fifth term, and the complex decision-making process. Especially enlightening are Meyer's thoughts on how the lessons learned from history help the Fed shape monetary policy today. Readable and well organized, this book provides an instructive look at irrational exuberance and the New Economy, as well as the global impact of U.S. monetary policy. Most business collections will want to purchase.-Susan C. Awe, Univ. of New Mexico Lib., Albuquerque Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061755385
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
File size:
1 MB

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