A Century of Monetary Policy at the Fed: Ben Bernanke, Janet by David E. Lindsey

By David E. Lindsey

A narrative heritage by way of a Fed insider of the way financial coverage is formed within the US, with distinctive emphasis at the performances of former Chairman Ben Bernanke and present Chairwoman Janet Yellen in dealing with the prelude, outbreak, and aftermath of the 2008 monetary crisis.

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Example text

Frequent changes in fiscal policies can provide the necessary balance wheel to counter variations in private spending and production. 3. The public’s demand for money can exhibit considerable instability relative to aggregate spending, potentially rendering even those monetary policy actions that raise the stock of money but do not lower interest rates impotent in spurring overall spending. Indeed, a “liquidity trap” can occur when interest rates are so low that everyone expects them to rise in association with capital losses on security prices.

Accordingly, the Board, seemingly feeling slighted, in March 1923 disbanded that committee and originated the Federal Open Market Investment Committee, which, although comprised of the same governors, would have to operate under the aegis of the Board. The extent of the Board’s authority would remain in dispute throughout the remainder of the decade. The Tenth Annual Report for 1923 reflected the advances in the Board’s thinking on monetary policy. It recognized that, along with discount lending, open market purchases and sales of Treasury securities also were a powerful tool that should be consistent with a posture of the central bank designed to promote business activity.

2. Fiscal policy—variations in government spending and taxation—has a rapid and predictable effect on aggregate spending. Frequent changes in fiscal policies can provide the necessary balance wheel to counter variations in private spending and production. 3. The public’s demand for money can exhibit considerable instability relative to aggregate spending, potentially rendering even those monetary policy actions that raise the stock of money but do not lower interest rates impotent in spurring overall spending.

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