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From the Publisher"Dr. Shull examines how, despite convincing evidence that misguided Federal Reserve policy exacerbated a number of major economic crises, the institution has consistently emerged from each crisis more powerful and influential than before. By focusing on three critical periods of economic stress (the inflation and deflation following World War I, the stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent Depression, and the volatility of the 1970s and 1980s), Dr. Shull argues that the key to the Federal Reserve's unexpected success has been awareness of its immense value in national emergencies and its capacity to adapt to the changing economic conditions and political realities of the past century."
"Shull provides a good overview of the history of the Federal Reserve, emphasizing its role in three economic crises: the inflation and sudden deflation of 1919-21, the Great Depression, and the stagflation period of 1973-82. In each of these events, the Federal Reserve played an undistinguished role, and was often fingered as a major cause of the problem. Despite its failures, in the wake of each crisis the Federal Reserve emerged with enhanced powers. The author credits the success of the Federal Reserve in expanding its power to its willingness to change course when conditions require it. One could just as well conclude from the evidence presented in this work that the Federal Reserve has been rewarded because it has proven itself willing and able to serve the financial community. Shull, whose career includes working for the board of governors of the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as well as teaching, brings both archival material and the established literature into play. His book is well written and for the most part avoids technical analysis, making it accessible to undergraduate students. Recommended. Public and academic library collections, lower-division undergraduate and up."