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A History of the Federal Reserve, Vol. 1: 1913-1951 by Allan H. Meltzer

By Allan H. Meltzer

Allan H. Meltzer's enormous heritage of the Federal Reserve approach tells the tale of 1 of America's such a lot influential yet least understood public associations. this primary quantity covers the interval from the Federal Reserve's founding in 1913 in the course of the Treasury-Federal Reserve Accord of 1951, which marked the start of a bigger and vastly replaced institution.

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 records (many made public simply in the course of 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 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 similar to Benjamin robust, governor of the Federal Reserve financial institution of recent 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 impression the Federal Reserve has had on foreign affairs, from makes an attempt to construct a brand new overseas economic system within the Twenties to the Bretton Woods contract of 1944 that verified the foreign financial Fund and the area financial institution, and the failure of the London fiscal convention of 1933.

Written via one of many world's top economists, this magisterial biography of the Federal Reserve and the folk who assisted in shaping it's going to curiosity economists, primary bankers, historians, political scientists, policymakers, and someone 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

Example text

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. Efforts at international monetary coordination in the 1920s and 1930s foundered on the conflict between a fixed exchange rate and goals for inflation or employment. The Federal Reserve worked actively to restore the international gold standard in the 1920s, first in Germany, than in Britain, France, Holland, Poland, and elsewhere.

The Federal Reserve Board had supervisory responsibility only. The new procedures radically changed the System’s original structure. The reserve banks sacrificed part of their autonomy to the System committee. Control of operations shifted toward the New York bank. Members of the Board resented New York’s increased authority, but they were powerless to combat it. These substantive differences combined with personal antipathies to heighten conflict between Benjamin Strong of the New York bank and members of the Board, particularly Adolph C.

A large literature claimed that higher interest rates would cause losses to creditors (debt owners) and that such losses would have severe negative effects on the economy. Arguments of this kind became popular in government, but not just in government. This literature neglected to mention either the gains that debtors received or the losses that creditors would experience if inflation resulted. The argument became part of the case against higher interest rates and an end to the wartime pegging policy.

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