By Allan H. Meltzer
To comprehend why the Federal Reserve acted because it did at key issues in its historical past, Meltzer attracts on assembly mins, correspondence, and different inner files (many made public basically throughout the Seventies) to track the reasoning in the back of its coverage judgements. He explains, for example, why the Federal Reserve remained passive all through many of the financial decline that resulted in the nice melancholy, and the way the Board's activities helped to supply the deep recession of 1937 and 1938. He additionally highlights the impression at the establishment of people reminiscent of Benjamin powerful, governor of the Federal Reserve financial institution of latest York within the Twenties, who performed a key function within the adoption of a extra lively financial coverage via the Federal Reserve. Meltzer additionally examines the impact the Federal Reserve has had on foreign affairs, from makes an attempt to construct a brand new foreign economy within the Nineteen Twenties to the Bretton Woods contract of 1944 that confirmed the overseas financial Fund and the area financial institution, and the failure of the London monetary convention of 1933.
Written via one of many world's major economists, this magisterial biography of the Federal Reserve and the folk who assisted in shaping it's going to curiosity economists, significant bankers, historians, political scientists, policymakers, and an individual looking a deep figuring out of the establishment that controls America's handbag strings.
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Additional info for A History of the Federal Reserve, Vol. 1: 1913-1951
The stock of gold grew slowly; the stocks of dollars and pounds could grow without limit. Member countries accepted an obligation to treat the two alike. In practice this meant they had to accept inflation or appreciate their exchange rate. The new system recognized a lasting change in beliefs about the responsibilities of government. As the population moved from rural to urban areas and from agriculture to manufacturing and service industries, governments assumed new responsibilities for social welfare and economic stabilization.
The gold standard required countries to use monetary policy to keep exchange rates fixed and thus to allow prices, output, and employment to vary as required by the movements of gold and the country’s exchange rate. Debtor countries had to pay their obligations in gold even if the price of gold rose relative to commodity prices, and creditors had to accept gold in settlement if commodity prices rose relative to the price of gold. Exporters and importers had reasonable certainty about the payments they would make or receive, since the rate of inflation remained bounded except in wartime, when the standard did not operate.
I. 48-1992. To Marilyn foreword Allan Meltzer, who undertakes projects that to most appear daunting, has delved deeply into the history of the Federal Reserve System, with a result that will add substantially to the discourse on the institution’s role and development. He has reviewed the records of policy discussion at an extraordinary level of detail, and his analysis illuminates the contributions of the many fascinating individuals who shaped the Federal Reserve System we know today. Beginning with a history of developments that underlay the initiation of America’s most recent experiment in central banking, Meltzer carries the reader through the challenges of a developing institution faced with enormous economic upheaval, aptly describing the strong personalities that influenced both policy and culture in the System.