In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, capping a meteoric trajectory from a rural South Carolina childhood to professorships at Stanford and Princeton, to public service in Washington’s halls of power. Read more...
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In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, capping a meteoric trajectory from a rural South Carolina childhood to professorships at Stanford and Princeton, to public service in Washington’s halls of power. There would be no time to celebrate, however—the burst of the housing bubble in 2007 set off a domino effect that would bring the global financial system to the brink of meltdown.
- ISBN-13: 9780393247213
- ISBN-10: 039324721X
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Publish Date: October 2015
- Page Count: 624
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-11-02
- Reviewer: Staff
Central bank officials don't normally star in thrillers, but this memoir of the 2008 financial collapse and the Great Recession by the former chairman of the Federal Reserve provides an exception to that rule. Economist Bernanke recounts how his research into financial panics and the Great Depression prepared him to lead the government's response to the 20078 subprime mortgage crisis and the ensuing collapse of banks and credit. As landmark Wall Street companies implodeincluding Bear Stearns, Lehmann Brothers, AIG, and Fannie Mae and Freddie MacBernanke and his comrades, Vice Chairman Tim Geithner and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, invent new ways to shore them up, arm-twist recalcitrant executives, and flood the economy with loans to stymie panic. The result, he writes, was "a new era of monetary policy activism" that drew intense fire from grandstanding populists. Along the way he unveils the workings of the secretive Fed, from internal wranglings over interest rates to the minute parsings of public statements for jittery markets ("Should I say that additional interest rate cuts may be necessary' or may well be necessary'?"). Written in clear, accessible prose, Bernanke's memoir demystifies central banking and high finance with admirable lucidity; it makes an indispensable guide to the 2008 upheaval and the controversial measures that quelled it. Photos. (Oct.)