Do They Walk on Water?: Federal Reserve Chairmen and the Fed by Leonard J. Santow, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Do They Walk on Water?: Federal Reserve Chairmen and the Fed

Do They Walk on Water?: Federal Reserve Chairmen and the Fed

by Leonard J. Santow
     
 

A crowd gathers. People crane their necks. Cameras flash. The limo door opens. Who is it—Mick Jagger? Oprah? Tiger Woods? No. It's Alan Greenspan—and the crowd still goes wild. Many felt Greenspan walked on water during his lengthy term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve System. But was he a genius or, as Tolstoy might portray him, simply someone who

Overview

A crowd gathers. People crane their necks. Cameras flash. The limo door opens. Who is it—Mick Jagger? Oprah? Tiger Woods? No. It's Alan Greenspan—and the crowd still goes wild. Many felt Greenspan walked on water during his lengthy term as Chairman of the Federal Reserve System. But was he a genius or, as Tolstoy might portray him, simply someone who could manifest confidence while attempting to captain an uncontrollable ship? In this book, economist Leonard Santow casts a steely eye on the Fed and its five most recent chairmen—Arthur Burns, G. William Miller, Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, and Ben Bernanke. Along the way, readers learn what function the Fed performs and why, how monetary policy differs from fiscal policy, which levers the Fed uses to change the money supply and control inflation, and more. This is one of the few books to explain the inner workings of the Fed and its Open Market Operations in layman's terms, while evaluating its most recent chiefs in their efforts to keep inflation at bay and the economy humming. Written in an easy and accessible style, the book also contains insights on the subprime mess and the securities that helped bring down the real estate house of cards, and it offers prescriptions for smoothing the choppy economic seas going forward.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Do They Walk On Water can be wholeheartedly recommended for both students of economics as well as the non-specialist general reader with an interest in how the Fed has and can continue to affect our national economic recovery." - Midwest Book Review

"The author explains how and why in a crisp narrative, supported by data sets consisting of 18 judiciously chosen economic indicators. The book's second appendix, 'A Flavor of the Times: Selected Media Headlines (1970-2008),' is an effective summary of the periods considered and a nice supplement. There is a lot to like in this timely book, not least of which is the author's perspective from 50-plus years of assessing and analyzing Fed policy and financial markets. Santow provides a cogent analysis of the roots of the current economic crisis and concludes the main part of the book with an expert's list of recommendations for Fed policy makers. Summing Up: Highly recommended." - Choice

"Do They Walk on Water . . . explains the inner workings of the Fed and its operations, evaluating its leaders over the decades and offering college-level libraries strong in economics and national monetary policy a solid analysis of how the Fed operates." - The Midwest Book Review - California Bookwatch

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313360336
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
11/30/2008
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.50(d)

What People are saying about this

William N. Griggs

"I have witnessed daily the analytical skills, intelligence and good judgment that Santow brings to every task. These qualities are on full display in this unique historical examination of fifty years of Fed policy focused on the Fed chairmen who shaped those policies. Here in clear and concise language is an unbiased examination of how a group of the most powerful individuals in this country used that power to meet the economic and financial challenges facing the nation."

William N. Griggs, Ph.D.,
Griggs & Santow, Inc.

Walter K. Joelson
"The current deep recession, the unforeseen financial problems, and the related deflation, make us wonder what kind of Federal Reserve System will improve our economy, and when. In this age of serious financial problems, we welcome Leonard Santow's latest contribution to their clarification. The former economic director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, analyzes in great detail, the monetary policies pursued by the most recent Federal Reserve chairman in order to solve the problems of their time. He makes clear the consequences of these decisions and their impact on the economy.
As a former chief economist of the General Electric company, I would have prayed for this kind of monetary book in order to forecast the nature and timing of future Federal Reserve policies and the economic changes they would have produced.
In addition, the appended glossary makes this volume useful to students and business people who may not have a financial or economic background."
Shijuro Ogata
"Do They Walk on Water? is an unusual book written, not only with post-fact criticism, but also with many real-time comments from the time of historical events. Clearly and pointedly, the author repeats his warning against the Fed's overemphasis on CPI rather than market conditions and real economy; its over-reliance on federal-funds-rate targeting rather than other monetary policy instruments; and its insufficient attention to regulatory problems. The comparison of Volcker and Greenspan is interesting, and the detailed analysis of the current financial market turmoil is extremely informative. With the attached glossary and the chronological records of events since 1970, the book will be quite useful not only for professionals, but also for students in and outside the United States."

Walter K. Joelson

"The current deep recession, the unforeseen financial problems, and the related deflation, make us wonder what kind of Federal Reserve System will improve our economy, and when. In this age of serious financial problems, we welcome Leonard Santow's latest contribution to their clarification. The former economic director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, analyzes in great detail, the monetary policies pursued by the most recent Federal Reserve chairman in order to solve the problems of their time. He makes clear the consequences of these decisions and their impact on the economy.

As a former chief economist of the General Electric company, I would have prayed for this kind of monetary book in order to forecast the nature and timing of future Federal Reserve policies and the economic changes they would have produced.

In addition, the appended glossary makes this volume useful to students and business people who may not have a financial or economic background."

Albert M. Wojnilower
"Do They Walk on Water? is an extraordinary book on monetary policy by an extraordinary economist. It is historical, factual-and judgmental. There are surprises here for all readers, from layman to expert and everyone in-between. The author draws on long experience in the Federal Reserve, in the securities markets, and as a consultant to foreign central banks as well as the U.S. Treasury and major financial institutions. This gives him an unmatched breadth of perspective spanning many decades."
William N. Griggs
"I have witnessed daily the analytical skills, intelligence and good judgment that Santow brings to every task. These qualities are on full display in this unique historical examination of fifty years of Fed policy focused on the Fed chairmen who shaped those policies. Here in clear and concise language is an unbiased examination of how a group of the most powerful individuals in this country used that power to meet the economic and financial challenges facing the nation."

Shijuro Ogata

"Do They Walk on Water? is an unusual book written, not only with post-fact criticism, but also with many real-time comments from the time of historical events. Clearly and pointedly, the author repeats his warning against the Fed's overemphasis on CPI rather than market conditions and real economy; its over-reliance on federal-funds-rate targeting rather than other monetary policy instruments; and its insufficient attention to regulatory problems. The comparison of Volcker and Greenspan is interesting, and the detailed analysis of the current financial market turmoil is extremely informative. With the attached glossary and the chronological records of events since 1970, the book will be quite useful not only for professionals, but also for students in and outside the United States."

Shijuro Ogata,
Former Deputy Governor for International Relations, Bank of Japan

Albert M. Wojnilower

"Do They Walk on Water? is an extraordinary book on monetary policy by an extraordinary economist. It is historical, factual-and judgmental. There are surprises here for all readers, from layman to expert and everyone in-between. The author draws on long experience in the Federal Reserve, in the securities markets, and as a consultant to foreign central banks as well as the U.S. Treasury and major financial institutions. This gives him an unmatched breadth of perspective spanning many decades."

Albert M. Wojnilower, Ph.D.,
Consultant and former Chief Economist, First Boston Corporation

Meet the Author

Leonard J. Santow is managing director of Griggs & Santow Inc., an economic and financial consulting firm in New York City. His clients include government agencies, central banks, investment and commercial banks, corporations, pension funds, insurance companies, government securities dealers, and money managers. He is the author of The Budget Deficit: The Causes, the Costs, and the Outlook, Helping the Fed Work Smarter, and coauthor of Social Security and the Middle-Class Squeeze (Praeger, 2005). Santow holds a PhD in economics from the University of Illinois.

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