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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 Bernanke's vow as the worst financial panic in more than fifty years gripped the worldand 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 instantlyto 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 spearheadedthe 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 theeconomic 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 economicinstitution 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 grindingto 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 mostcritical 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 rippedthrough-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 tosell 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: Wecame 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 singularlyperceptive look at a historic episode in American and global economic history.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

This breakout book on the financial crisis is Pulitzer Prize-winner Wessel's inside account of the struggle of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his financial firefighters to keep the Great Panic from becoming the next Great Depression.

Synopsis:

"Whatever it takes" [br]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. [br]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. [br]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. [br]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: [br]- 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? [br]- What were they thinking at pivotal moments during the race to sell Bear Stearns, the unsuccessful quest to save Lehman.

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 PBS’s Washington Week.

Table of Contents

Let ol' Lehman go : the pivotal weekend of September 12-14, 2008 — "Periodical financial debauches" : the long-forgotten history of the Fed — Age of delusion : what Greenspan wrought — There are Jews in Boston, too : who is Ben Bernanke? — Pas de deux : the great panic begins in August 2007 — The four Musketeers : Bernanke's brain trust ; Bernanke, Kohn, Warsh, and Geithner — Re: Re: ... Blue sky : the Fed's first response to the great panic — Running from behind : how the Fed got behind the curve, and how it caught up — "Unusual and exigent" : Bear Stearns, the first rescue — Fannie, Freddie, and "Feddie" : taking over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and pondering next steps — Breaking the glass : the fallout from Lehman and AIG and going to Congress--finally — "Socialism with American characteristics" : forcing taxpayer capital on the banks — World of ZIRP : the Fed gets rates to zero — Did Bernanke kep his promise to Milton Friedman? the early verdict.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307459701
Subtitle:
Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic
Publisher:
Crown Business
Author:
David Wessel
Author:
Wessel, David
Subject:
Business & Economics : General
Subject:
General
Subject:
Economic Conditions
Subject:
Finance
Subject:
Financial crises -- United States.
Subject:
Monetary policy -- United States.
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Business-Accounting and Finance
Subject:
Business-Banking
Subject:
Business - General
Subject:
Business-Rack
Subject:
Current Affairs-General
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20090804
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
323

Related Subjects

» Business » Accounting and Finance
» Business » Banking
» Business » General
» Business » History and Biographies
» History and Social Science » Economics » General
» History and Social Science » Politics » General

In FED We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War on the Great Panic
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Product details 323 pages Crown Publishing Group - English 9780307459701 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This breakout book on the financial crisis is Pulitzer Prize-winner Wessel's inside account of the struggle of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his financial firefighters to keep the Great Panic from becoming the next Great Depression.
"Synopsis" by , "Whatever it takes" [br]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. [br]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. [br]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. [br]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: [br]- 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? [br]- What were they thinking at pivotal moments during the race to sell Bear Stearns, the unsuccessful quest to save Lehman.
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