BN.com Gift Guide

In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic

Hardcover (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$8.37
(Save 69%)
Est. Return Date: 02/20/2015
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$20.24
(Save 25%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (94) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $3.50   
  • Used (90) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$3.50
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(489)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
2009 Hardcover New

Ships from: san francisco, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$3.50
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(489)

Condition: New
2009 Hardcover New

Ships from: san francisco, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$6.45
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(228)

Condition: New
Deckle Edge New (4866)Hardcover w/DJ, 1st edition, 2009; Great condition!

Ships from: Bethesda, MD

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$20.76
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
2009 Hard cover New in new dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 336 p. Audience: General/trade.

Ships from: Carrollton, GA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by

Overview

“Whatever it takes”

That was Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s vow as the worst financial panic in more than fifty years gripped the world and he struggled to avoid the once unthinkable: a repeat of the Great Depression. Brilliant but temperamentally cautious, Bernanke researched and wrote about the causes of the Depression during his career as an academic. Then when thrust into a role as one of the most important people in the world, he was compelled to boldness by circumstances he never anticipated.

The president of the United States can respond instantly to a missile attack with America’s military might, but he cannot respond to a financial crisis with real money unless Congress acts. The Fed chairman can. Bernanke did. Under his leadership the Fed spearheaded the biggest government intervention in more than half a century and effectively became the fourth branch of government, with no direct accountability to the nation’s voters.

Believing that the economic catastrophe of the 1930s was largely the fault of a sluggish and wrongheaded Federal Reserve, Bernanke was determined not to repeat that epic mistake. In this penetrating look inside the most powerful economic institution in the world, David Wessel illuminates its opaque and undemocratic inner workings, while revealing how the Bernanke Fed led the desperate effort to prevent the world’s financial engine from grinding to a halt.

In piecing together the fullest, most authoritative, and alarming picture yet of this decisive moment in our nation’s history, In Fed We Trust answers the most critical questions. Among them:

• What did Bernanke and his team at the Fed know–and what took them by surprise? Which of their actions stretched–or even ripped through–the Fed’s legal authority? Which chilling numbers and indicators made them feel they had no choice?

• What were they thinking at pivotal moments during the race to sell Bear Stearns, the unsuccessful quest to save Lehman Brothers, and the virtual nationalization of AIG, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac? What were they saying to one another when, as Bernanke put it to Wessel: “We came very close to Depression 2.0”?

• How well did Bernanke, former treasury secretary Hank Paulson, and then New York Fed president Tim Geithner perform under intense pressure?

• How did the crisis prompt a reappraisal of the once-impregnable reputation of Alan Greenspan?

In Fed We Trust is a breathtaking and singularly perceptive look at a historic episode in American and global economic history.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Charles Lane
…the Fed's job for the next half-decade has already been determined by the course Bernanke chose in the past 18 months. Whoever takes the helm will face the greatest liquidity mop-up in history. And only if the Fed pulls it off can there be a happy ending to the Great Panic, whose scary beginning David Wessel has so effectively narrated.
—The Washington Post
Michiko Kakutani
In Fed We Trust is essential, lucid—and, it turns out, riveting—reading…Wessel uses his narrative gifts and a plethora of sources to give readers a vivid, highly immediate sense of what transpired in last-minute, high-pressure, seat-of-their-pants meetings in Washington and New York while placing these events in a broader historical context.
—The New York Times
Paul M. Barrett
Forget Stephen King. For readers determined to decipher the baffling collapse of Wall Street, David Wessel's account of what has transpired behind closed doors in Washington over the past couple of years provides a tale that's nothing short of hair-raising…Wessel makes a persuasive case that if our economic overseers do not renounce—clearly and openly—the lackadaisical deference to Wall Street that characterized the Greenspan era, they risk not anticipating the next crisis and determining how to avoid it.
—The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
“...gives a revealing blow-by-blow account of the recent financial crisis”
—David Brooks, The New York Times

“...essential, lucid—and, it turns out, riveting—reading."
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“...a tale that’s nothing short of hair-raising..reveals in scary detail how unprepared politicians and regulators truly were...”
—Paul M Barrett, The New York Times Book Review

“Wessel delivers an engrossing account of Bernanke's improvisational responses to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
Fortune Magazine

“... so far the most entertaining and most readable book on the financial crisis.”
—Tyler Cowen, marginalrevolution.com

“...persuasively told and richly reported... It will win awards and inspire copycats.”
BusinessWeek

"David Wessel brings his deep knowledge of the Federal Reserve and U.S. politics and economics to a topic that will be studied by historians for decades to come...No one can understand what happened and what did not happen without reading this book."
–Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics and author of Globalization and its Discontents

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307459688
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/4/2009
  • Pages: 323
  • Product dimensions: 9.52 (w) x 6.72 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

DAVID WESSEL is economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, deputy bureau chief of the paper’s Washington bureau, and a regular on NPR and Washington Week in Review.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Introduction

Whatever It Takes

At the beginning of October 2008, after some of the toughest weeks of the Great Panic, the lines in Ben Bernanke’s face and the circles under his eyes offered evidence of more than a year of seven- day weeks and conference calls that stretched past midnight. Sometimes all that seemed to keep Bernanke going was the constantly restocked bowl of trail mix that sat on his secretary’s desk and the cans of diet Dr Pepper from the refrigerator in his office. But the balding, bearded chairman of the Federal Reserve managed a smile as he confided that he had a title for the book he would write someday about his watch as helmsman of the world economy: Before Asia Opens . . .

The phrase was a reference to the series of precedent shattering decisions that Bernanke and others at the Fed and Treasury had been forced to make with insufficient sleep and inadequate preparation on Sundays so they could be announced before financial markets opened Monday morning in Asia, half a day ahead of Washington and New York.

Before Asia Opens . . . was not a laugh line. The subprime mortgage mess was made in America, and that meant the U.S. government was forced to lead the cleanup. Ben Bernanke had more immediate power to do that than any other individual. The president of the United States can respond instantly to a missile attack with real bullets; he cannot respond instantly to financial panic with real money without the prior approval of Congress. But Bernanke could and did.

Yet the United States had become so dependent on the flow of money from abroad and the business of American financial institutions was so intertwined with those overseas that Bernanke didn’t have the luxury of waiting until the sun rose over Washington to make decisions and pronouncements. Hence the subject line Goldman Sachs economists put on one of their weekly e- mails: “Sunday is the new Monday.”

There was the Sunday in March 2008 when the Federal Reserve shattered seventy years of tradition and lent $30 billion to induce JPMorgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns, a flailing investment bank the Fed neither regulated nor officially protected.

And the Sunday in August 2008 when Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, the nation’s self- appointed investment banker in chief, decided to seize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government- sponsored, shareholder- owned mortgage giants that had borrowed heavily from abroad.

And the Sunday in late September 2008 when Bernanke and his Wall Street field marshal, Timothy Geithner, then president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, pressured the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to invoke an emergency law to subsidize Citigroup’s attempt to strengthen itself by acquiring Wachovia.

Yet no Sunday of the Great Panic would prove as consequential and controversial as September 14, 2008, the day Bernanke, Geithner, and Paulson allowed Lehman Brothers to fail after a desperate search for someone to buy it.

The government- sanctioned bankruptcy of a Wall Street firm founded before the Civil War marked a new phase in the Great Panic, a moment when financial markets went from bad to awful. The Wall Street Journal dubbed it the “Weekend That Wall Street Died.” Lehman’s bankruptcy was the largest in U.S. history. The financial market reaction was ugly. At the end of trading on Monday, the Dow had plummeted over 500 points, its biggest one- day drop since September 17, 2001, when trading resumed following the 9/11 attacks. While financial giants led the way down — Goldman Sachs stock lost 19 percent, Citigroup 15 percent — every major sector on the S&P 500 index posted a loss. Other economic indicators were also negative: In anticipation of a global slowdown, oil prices plunged, while spooked investors sent the price of supersafe Treasury bills soaring. In a sign of what was coming, dozens of traders crowded around the specialists who trade American International Group, America’s largest insurance company, on the New York Stock Exchange floor as Monday’s trading began. AIG shares, which had closed on Friday at $12.14, opened Monday at $7.12 and ended the day at $4.76.

As horrible as the first day after Lehman was, the bigger fear was that nobody knew where the collapse might end. Bernanke, Geithner, and Paulson confronted the biggest threat to American capitalism since the 1930s, and their responses were commensurately big.

Within one week, they:

• married venerable brokerage house Merrill Lynch to Bank of America
• all but nationalized AIG, pumping in $85 billion of Fed money to keep it alive
• risked taxpayer money to halt a run on money market mutual funds no one ever considered guaranteed by the government
• administered last rites for Wall Street’s investment- banking business model by converting Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley into Fed- protected bank- holding companies
• pleaded with Congress to give the Treasury $700 billion to prevent catastrophe, a request that ultimately led to a Republican administration taking a government ownership stake in the nation’s biggest banks

The Fed was the first responder. It acted as quickly and forcefully as its leaders could manage in order to prevent the country — and the global economy— from plunging into the abyss. Bernanke bluntly said as much later: “We came very, very close to a global financial meltdown, a situation in which many of the largest institutions in the world would have failed, where the financial system would have shut down, and . . . in which the economy would have fallen into a much deeper and much longer and more protracted recession.”

In ways that the public and politicians had never before appreciated, that weekend, and the months that followed, would reveal that the Federal Reserve had become a fourth branch of government, nearly equal in power to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, though still subject to their constitutional authority if they chose to assert it.

Ben Bernanke and a small cadre of advisers would vow to do whatever it takes to avoid a possibility that, until 2008, was unthinkable: a repeat of the Great Depression.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The fourth branch of government

    They say all throughout the schools of America that there are three branches. But their missing out on a big one, a subtle one that lurks in the shadow and that is relatively unnoticed until quarterly statements come out- The Federal Reserve.

    Wessel does an excellent job in this book to show how the Fed shaped the financial system during the colossal earthquake that would have turned the great recession into Depression 2.0 I highly recommend a book like this for it spots light on the branch that has few checks on it, the branch that is hated by both Democrats and Republicans, the branch that is headed by Helmsman Bernanke as saying "Whatever it takes" to stop this impending crisis from becoming a disaster.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Page-turning thriller set in Washington during the financial meltdown

    This book confirms my suspicion that the best and the brightest (and appointed) bureaucrats in the Federal Government knew the overwhelming potential for economic disaster that the world faced in the fall of 2008, and did "what ever it takes" (as Mr. Wessel reports) to make the financial ship right. His insight, recall and research into the closed door meetings and conversations we were not privy to are compelling and believable. I have to admit, I am not even half way through the book but I would highly recommend it to anyone - since it is an event that continues to cause us so much pain and adjustment in our daily lives.
    Two observations I have so far in reading this book.
    #1) Although I was not there, and nor do I know any of the players - it is nevertheless my opinion - that Ben Bernanke was fully aware of the seriousness of the impending crisis way back in August 2007. I don't think Mr. Wessel gives Mr. Bernanke credit for the decisive and unusual actions the Fed took, under Bernanke's direct supervision, to loosen the credit markets in the beginning of Aug 2007 when some funds at Bear Stearns were in some trouble. I remember this vividly, because I sensed that Mr. Bernanke's actions telegraphed to those of "us" who suspected all was not well, that Bear Stearns was the tip of the iceberg.
    #2) I have a great deal of faith in Mr. Bernanke's temperment, understanding of global finance and economics, his intellect and his resolve to do what ever is necessary to have prevented an even worse crisis and to get us out of this one. I also suspect that had the Bush administration appointees deferred to Bernanke more, then we would now be in better shape. I am reading the book looking for evidence of this right now. Going forward, I would hope the President re-appoints Bernanke for another term.
    One of the biggest problems/questions this book raises is: Should the Chairman's position retain the power it has so to make the American economy so dependent on one man's conduct and actions? The aftermath of the "Greenspan era" has caused me to doubt this premise more and more.

    7 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book could have used a little more detail and better conclusion

    The book gave a nice story line of the "Great Panic" devoting chapters to each major storyline. The book also included statistic boxes on various pages that showed where the DJIA was, what the unemployment rate was, and the fed-funds rate.

    If you are looking to read a book that gives you the storyline and shows you how bernanke, paulson, geitner, and a few others handled and mishandled the crisis this book is great.

    I would have liked more detail into how the firms such as lehman, bear, citigroup, fannie & freddie etc.... actually got themselves into this position. Also the ending of the book could have been a little longer and more detailed.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    Learn how the Federal Reserve operates to protect us!

    Learn how the Federal Reserve operates and why they do what they do. They work long hours for the benefit of citizens.

    3 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2009

    Educational

    Educational

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2009

    Important Story, Well Told

    Worth reading

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    It's a Great Book

    Very clear book.

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)