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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

“Whatever it takes”

That was Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernankes 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 Americas 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 nations 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 worlds financial engine from grinding to a halt.

In piecing together the fullest, most authoritative, and alarming picture yet of this decisive moment in our nations 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 Feds 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.

Synopsis:

For more than 20 years David Wessel has been The Wall Street Journals insider at the Federal Reserve, with continual access not only to Fed Chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, but also to other Fed governors, policy-makers, and staffers. While the Constitution specifies three coequal branches of government, over the past three decades a fourth branch has emerged, the Federal Reserve. The single most important economic institution in the world, the Fed steers the $13 trillion dollar American economy by printing money and influencing the price of credit. In stable times it has a powerful yet unseen effect on the day-to-day life of every person in the world. But when things hit the fan–as they did in 2007 and 2008–the Fed is huge. It has great power, yet it is a distinctly undemocratic institution. Explaining both what happened and why it happened during the great panic of 2008, David Wessel provides new insight into how the Fed really works–and the fears Bernanke and other key players dealt with as the economic car was about to go off the cliff. “What if we get it wrong, as we did in the Depression? Then what?” Wessel shows the lightbulbs illuminating as they realized how much worse things were as each day passed. In FED We Trust is a breathtaking and singularly perceptive look at a historic episode in American and global economic history.

Synopsis:

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.

About the Author

DAVID WESSEL is the economics editor of The Wall Street Journal and writes the Capital column, a weekly look at the forces shaping living standards around the world. David has shared two Pulitzer Prizes, one for Boston Globe stories in 1983 on the persistence of racism in Boston and the other for stories in The Wall Street Journal in 2002 on corporate wrongdoing. He appears frequently on National Public Radio and is a regular on PBSs Washington Week.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307459688
Author:
Wessel, David
Publisher:
Crown Business
Subject:
General
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Finance
Subject:
Financial crises -- United States.
Subject:
Monetary policy -- United States.
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Economics - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.48x6.56x1.23 in. 1.33 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Accounting and Finance
Business » Banking
Business » General
Business » Management
History and Social Science » Economics » General

In Fed We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Crown Business - English 9780307459688 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , For more than 20 years David Wessel has been The Wall Street Journals insider at the Federal Reserve, with continual access not only to Fed Chairmen Greenspan and Bernanke, but also to other Fed governors, policy-makers, and staffers. While the Constitution specifies three coequal branches of government, over the past three decades a fourth branch has emerged, the Federal Reserve. The single most important economic institution in the world, the Fed steers the $13 trillion dollar American economy by printing money and influencing the price of credit. In stable times it has a powerful yet unseen effect on the day-to-day life of every person in the world. But when things hit the fan–as they did in 2007 and 2008–the Fed is huge. It has great power, yet it is a distinctly undemocratic institution. Explaining both what happened and why it happened during the great panic of 2008, David Wessel provides new insight into how the Fed really works–and the fears Bernanke and other key players dealt with as the economic car was about to go off the cliff. “What if we get it wrong, as we did in the Depression? Then what?” Wessel shows the lightbulbs illuminating as they realized how much worse things were as each day passed. In FED We Trust is a breathtaking and singularly perceptive look at a historic episode in American and global economic history.
"Synopsis" by , 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.

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