{short description of image}  


Peter Conti-Brown

Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2016, 347 pgs., index, bibliography, notes





The author states his purpose and thesis: 'This book is an effort to cut through that morass of law and history. The focus, as the title indicates, is especially on how the Fed gained and uses its extraordinar power over the global economy and what is meant by the often invoked but rarely explained term 'independence".
And further: "This book steps behind the scribbles to depct the Federal Reserve, its internal structure, its external pressures, and the technical and nontechnical ways it makes its many policies, with more clarity than these questions usually receive." And, "This book is an effort to push back against the certainty of those absolutist narratives. To understand the unique place the Fed occupies at the intersection of financial markets and the U.S. government requires a dive into the very meaning of this curious intellectual and institutional construction, Federal Reserve independence."




Part I - The Federal Reserve Is a "They, Not an "it"


Chapter 1 - The Three Foundings of the Federal Reserve


Chapter 2 - Leadership and Institutinal Change: From Periphery to Power


Chapter 3 - Central Banking by Committee: The Authority of the Fed's Board of Governors


Chapter 4 - The"Double Government" of the Federal Reserve; The Economists and the Lawyers


Chapter 5 - The Vestigial and Unconstitutional Federal Reserve Banks


Part II: The Five Hundred Hats of the Federal Reserve


Chapter 6: - Practicing Monetary Policy: The Rise and Fall of the Chaperone


Chapter 7: - The Once and Future Federal Reserve: The Fed's Banking Functions


Part III - The Sirens of the Federal Reserve


Chapter 8: - The President and the Federal Reserve: The Limits of Law and the Power of Relationships


Chapter 9: - Congress and the Fed: The Curious Case of the Fed's Budgetary Autonomy


Chapter 10: - Club Fed: The Communities of the Federal Reserve


Part IV - The Democratic Demands of the Fed Governance: Reforming the Fed by Choosing the Chaperone


Chapter 11: Proposals

In this chapter the author evaluates various proposed 'reforms', some of which he approves or offers himself, and others which he finds detrimental.


Conclusion: The Freemasons and the Federal Reserve


Return to Xenophon.