The Federal Reserve System: A History

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The Federal Reserve banking system was created, in 1913, to bring coherence to banking practices and prevent crises like the financial panic of 1907. The Federal Reserve has since played a crucial role in American financial policy and practice. It is largely and entity unto itself, operating independently, rarely subject to the machinations of Congress of the presidency.

This history begins with an overview of American banking practices before 1914. The events leading to the Reserve’s creation and its early tribulations are then documented. Subsequent chapters track the Federal Reserve’s role during times of financial and military crisis, its relationship to each presidential administration, and its changes in leadership over the years. The Alan Greenspan era is covered in detail, as are major changes in the Fed’s operating procedures since the 1980s. An appendix lists all members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, from its formation until 2003.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786418800
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/2/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald R. Wells, professor emeritus of Economics from the University of Memphis, has written extensively in the areas of free banking, the Canadian Banking System, and the reaction of the U.S. and Canadian banking systems to periods of depression. His scholarly interests range beyond economics—he is also the author of The Race for the Governor's Cup: The Pacific Coast League Playoffs, 1936-1954 (2000). He lives in Bartlett, Tennessee.

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Table of Contents

1 U.S. banking before the Federal Reserve 7
2 The Aldrich-Vreeland act prevents a panic in 1914 21
3 Original uncertainty regarding exercise of Fed authority 25
4 The Federal Reserve's role in World War I 29
5 The discovery of a new tool for the Federal Reserve 35
6 The Fed in the 1920s 41
7 The Fed in the 1929-1933 contraction 47
8 Policy changes in the Roosevelt administration 61
9 The Fed's role in World War II 77
10 The Fed between World War II and the Korean War 85
11 The Korean War and the accord with the treasury 91
12 "Bills only" as an act of independence 97
13 Operation Twist and President Kennedy's tax cut 107
14 Chairman Martin's battle with President Johnson over inflation 111
15 Nixon replaces Martin with burns and inflicts price controls on the economy 119
16 Supply shocks in the 1970s make unemployment and inflation worse 125
17 Carter replaces Burns with Miller and inflation worsens 131
18 The Volcker era begins and the Fed gets control over all banks 137
19 Volcker's Fed slows inflation at a cost 145
20 Volcker is reappointed but there are changes on the board 153
21 The Greenspan era begins 161
22 The Fed's response to the thrift crisis 167
23 Economics dominate the board under Greenspan 173
24 Changes in the Fed's operating procedure after the 1980s 185
App. A Membership of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve system, 1913-2003 199
App. B Persons serving as chairman of the board of governors 202
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