In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, the unexpected apex of a personal journey from small-town South Carolina to prestigious academic appointments and finally public service in Washington’s halls of power.
There would be no time to celebrate.
The bursting of a housing bubble in 2007 exposed the hidden vulnerabilities of the global financial system, bringing it to the brink of meltdown. From the implosion of the investment bank Bear Stearns to the unprecedented bailout of insurance giant AIG, efforts to arrest the financial contagion consumed Bernanke and his team at the Fed. Around the clock, they fought the crisis with every tool at their disposal to keep the United States and world economies afloat.
Working with two U.S. presidents, and under fire from a fractious Congress and a public incensed by behavior on Wall Street, the Fed—alongside colleagues in the Treasury Department—successfully stabilized a teetering financial system. With creativity and decisiveness, they prevented an economic collapse of unimaginable scale and went on to craft the unorthodox programs that would help revive the U.S. economy and become the model for other countries.
Rich with detail of the decision-making process in Washington and indelible portraits of the major players, The Courage to Act recounts and explains the worst financial crisis and economic slump in America since the Great Depression, providing an insider’s account of the policy response.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Author's Note vii
Prologue I Can Still Stop This … ix
Part I Prelude
Chapter 1 Main Street 3
Chapter 2 In the Groves of Academe 21
Chapter 3 Governor 43
Chapter 4 In the Maestro's Orchestra 66
Chapter 5 The Subprime Spark 82
Chapter 6 Rookie Season 107
Part II The Crisis
Chapter 7 First Tremors, First Response 133
Chapter 8 One Step Forward 159
Chapter 9 The End of the Beginning 176
Chapter 10 Bear Stearns: Before Asia Opens 198
Chapter 11 Fannie and Freddie: A Long, Hot Summer 226
Chapter 12 Lehman: The Dam Breaks 248
Chapter 13 AIG: "It Makes Me Angry" 270
Chapter 14 We Turn to Congress 292
Chapter 15 "Fifty Percent Hell No" 314
Chapter 16 A Cold Wind 336
Chapter 17 Transition 356
Chapter 18 From Financial Crisis to Economic Crisis 385
Part III Aftermath
Chapter 19 Quantitative Easing: The End of Orthodoxy 415
Chapter 20 Building a New Financial System 435
Chapter 21 QE2: False Dawn 467
Chapter 22 Headwinds 497
Chapter 23 Taper Capers 534
Epilogue: Looking Back, Looking Forward 565
Afterword to the Paperback Edition 581
A Note On Sources 599
Selected Bibliography 603