The Quiet Revolution / Edition 1

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Overview

Although little noticed, the face of central banking has changed significantly over the past ten to fifteen years, says the author of this enlightening book. Alan S. Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System and member of President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers, shows that the changes, though quiet, have been sufficiently profound to constitute a revolution in central banking.

Blinder considers three of the most significant aspects of the revolution. The first is the shift toward transparency: whereas central bankers once believed in secrecy and even mystery, greater openness is now considered a virtue. The second is the transition from monetary policy decisions made by single individuals to decisions made by committees. The third change is a profoundly different attitude toward the markets, from that of stern schoolmarm to one of listener. With keenness and balance, the author examines the origins of these changes and their pros and cons.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
This short book, a revision of three lectures given at Yale by the Princeton economist and former governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, skillfully discusses, with sophistication but in nontechnical language, the recent evolution of central banking in well-to-do countries. Blinder approves of progress toward greater transparency, more collective decision-making, and greater attention to financial markets and of the move toward decision by committee (which the Federal Reserve has always had). Central banks, once seemingly contemptuous of financial markets, now pay much more attention to bond and stock price movements, foreign exchange rates, and diverse forward markets. But Blinder cautions against assuming that financial markets reflect thoughtful long-run expectations. Much evidence suggests that financial markets are dominated by short-run dynamics, and central bank attempts to meet their expectations could steer monetary policy in the wrong direction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300100877
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Series: Arthur Okun Memorial Lectures Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 140
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Through the Looking Glass: Central Bank Transparency 5
Ch. 2 Ex Uno Plures: Central Banking by Committee 34
Ch. 3 Following the Leader: The Central Bank and the Markets 65
Conclusion: Thoroughly Modern Central Banking 98
Notes 101
Bibliography 109
Index 115
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