By Allan H. Meltzer
To comprehend why the Federal Reserve acted because it did at key issues in its heritage, Meltzer attracts on assembly mins, correspondence, and different inner records (many made public simply throughout the Nineteen Seventies) to track the reasoning in the back of its coverage judgements. He explains, for example, why the Federal Reserve remained passive all through lots of the financial decline that resulted in the good melancholy, and the way the Board's activities helped to supply the deep recession of 1937 and 1938. He additionally highlights the influence at the establishment of people akin to Benjamin powerful, governor of the Federal Reserve financial institution of latest York within the Nineteen Twenties, who performed a key position within the adoption of a extra energetic financial coverage via the Federal Reserve. Meltzer additionally examines the impression the Federal Reserve has had on foreign affairs, from makes an attempt to construct a brand new foreign economic climate within the Twenties to the Bretton Woods contract of 1944 that proven the overseas financial Fund and the area financial institution, and the failure of the London fiscal convention of 1933.
Written by way of one of many world's top economists, this magisterial biography of the Federal Reserve and the folks who contributed to shaping it's going to curiosity economists, imperative bankers, historians, political scientists, policymakers, and somebody looking a deep realizing of the establishment that controls America's handbag strings.
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Extra info for A History of the Federal Reserve, Vol. 1: 1913-1951
Although he disliked Treasury interference in monetary matters, he did little to prevent it. He advised and testified on a broad range of government policies including budget, tax, and housing policy. At times he opposed Morgenthau’s policies, and on one occasion he proposed an excess profits tax that differed from administration policy. A most unusual breach of independence occurred in January 1951 when the entire open market committee met in President Truman’s office. The president and Secretary John Snyder wanted the Federal Reserve to maintain the long-term interest rate on Treasury bonds at the wartime peg.
President Franklin Roosevelt took office at the climax of the financial collapse. The new administration transformed many institutions, including the Federal Reserve. At the time, the dominant explanation regarded the depression as an inevitable consequence of speculation financed by speculators’ easy access to credit. Legislation separated commercial and investment banking and gave the Federal Reserve authority to set stock market margin requirements. In these and other ways, Congress absolved the Federal Reserve of responsibility for the debacle.
These rules were accepted as basic at the start of the Federal Reserve System. First, there was the core principle of the gold standard: the central bank must raise or lower the discount rate as required to protect the gold stock and the exchange rate. Second, the central bank served as lender of last resort by offering to lend in a panic when markets did not function. Third, the central bank was to accommodate the needs of trade and agriculture by discounting only (or mainly) commercial paper, a principle known as the productive credit or real bills doctrine.
A History of the Federal Reserve, Vol. 1: 1913-1951 by Allan H. Meltzer