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11 Reviews
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inside Story of the Fed, Just Like it Says
This book will be enjoyed by those who want to see the Fed as a very human institution with its own quirks and foibles. It helps to add a dimension of knowledge about the Fed that is hard to get anywhere else.
If you are a hard core economist with strong political views or an ardent fan of Friedman or Greenspan you won't like it. It shows the human side of many of...
Published on December 21, 2001 by RAS

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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missed its potential
This book contains a lot of excellent information about the development of the Federal Reserve System with many incidents that I had never heard of. However, the writing style is poor since the book is FILLED with cliches. Also the material is not well-organized with a lot of jumping from incident to incident. Lots of fascinating inside stories, but disappointing...
Published on July 24, 2001 by Steve Fast


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Inside Story of the Fed, Just Like it Says, December 21, 2001
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This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
This book will be enjoyed by those who want to see the Fed as a very human institution with its own quirks and foibles. It helps to add a dimension of knowledge about the Fed that is hard to get anywhere else.
If you are a hard core economist with strong political views or an ardent fan of Friedman or Greenspan you won't like it. It shows the human side of many of the major figures.
I thought it was well done and enjoyed it immensely. I have read most of the major books on the Fed and read their open market operations briefs every day, and spend a lot of time on the various Fed websites.
This book is generally sound, and although there are those who would tend to dismiss Mayer, as he is not an economic scholar, the great strength of this book is that Mayer realizes that the Fed is not a university seeking truth. It is a political and financial institution not above the day to day fray, with its own sort of organizational politics.
I have also read most of the major books about Greenspan, and this one adds a dimension to his persona that connected the dots for me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tempted to give five stars..., August 26, 2006
This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
Martin Mayer has been writing about banking for decades. He has held positions in government, and testified as an expert in various governmental committees. He has known personally many of the people about whom he is writing in this book.

His writing style is dense. He often assumes the reader is familiar with banking terms or processes (or can go look them up). If you can get through this, the information he provides is priceless. I came away from reading this book with a variety of insights into banking and the federal reserve that will continue to inform me for years to come. I have read a number of books on the fed, and this is certainly one of the best (along with Greiders).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the subject I've encountered, April 23, 2007
By 
Vitya (London, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
If you are starting out in finance and want to know how the Fed works, this is the best book for you. It's not the easiest or the smallest, but it is the most illuminating. This book was very helpful to me when I started on Wall Street. It's a bit long (to be fair I'm still about 100 pages away from finish) but will make you understand why, as of April 23, 2007 "The 13 1/4 percent bond due in 2014 that the government sold on May 15, 1984, returned an annualized 24 percent. The S&500 returned 13 percent, including dividends, during the same period. Bonds gained more than shares of Motorola Inc., DuPont Co. and Duke Energy Corp." - this is from today's Bloomberg.

This and reading Pimco's McCulley/Gross monthly pieces is a must if you want to understand what's driving world capital markets.
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16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Missed its potential, July 24, 2001
By 
Steve Fast (Hillsboro, KS, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
This book contains a lot of excellent information about the development of the Federal Reserve System with many incidents that I had never heard of. However, the writing style is poor since the book is FILLED with cliches. Also the material is not well-organized with a lot of jumping from incident to incident. Lots of fascinating inside stories, but disappointing overall.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Well, it's not a bad recollection of the Russian crises, March 21, 2013
This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
This book hardly lives up to the "inside track" into the Fed. In fact the author states about how transparent the Fed has become which you can deduce that there really isn't a need for a book that ever claims to "go inside" now. This book's insight into the Russian debt crises was the only really interesting part to me. In summary, I'm not sure I would recommend that you spend your valuable time reading this book.
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5 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If you are an investor..., August 16, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
If you are an investor and you need to know how the Fed influences the stock market among others...
If you bought and read "Secrets of the Temple" by William Greider and maybe "Leadership at the Fed" by Donald Kettl...
If you understood them and knew who the named people were...
Then you should buy this book too.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misleading Title, April 4, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
My main problem with this book is that the title really should have been "A Detailed History of The Fed." I think I was looking more for what the title implied, a book with a focus almost exclusively on modern times, and concentrating on the relationship between Fed actions and economic reactions. If this is what you, too, are seeking, don't read this book.
A secondary problem is that the recitation of Fed history that comprises nearly the entire book is almost unbearably dry.
This book's main (only?) good point is its detail. I personally found the amount of detail excessive and boring, but I can't fault the author for completion: the history that this book contains is broad and well-researched.
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12 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this politics or economics?, August 17, 2001
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This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
You can learn something from this book, but at a great cost. The writing is very poor and the message is tendentious. Lots of snide remarks about Ronald Reagan. Milton Friedman's name is usually accompanied by a phrase like "and his acolytes". Marx and Engels are cited in all seriousness as economists. As history, the book gives you a very distorted picture. A bad book.
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6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I want my money back, August 7, 2001
By 
Rolo (Missouri City, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
I think this author needs to be taken off your list. Is there anyway I can return this book? This author is a talker, not a writer.
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2 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting points, September 14, 2001
By 
Ed Dunne (San Francisco) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets (Hardcover)
This book provided some interesting points and information, but jumped around in time and topic in a manner that disrupted its flow.
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The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets
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