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Central Banking in Theory and Practice (Lionel Robbins Lectures) Paperback – January 29, 1999
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Like wrestlers flexing their muscles before a bout that somehow never seems to take place, economists have been declaiming their intention to do something about bounded rationality for more than thirty years. The appearance of this elegant book signals that the big fight is under way at last.(Ken Binmore, ELSE, University College London)
What would it be like to have a central banker who is a master macroeconomist, a clear thinker and expositor, and a reasonable person? Answer: it would be wonderful. And here he is.(Robert M. Solow, Institute Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, MIT)
In three short, birlliant essays, Professor Blinder summarizes and advances our knowledge of both the theory and practice of central banking.(Edward Yardeni, Chief Economist and Managing Director, Deutsche Morgan Grenfell)
The power of this book comes from the fact that it shows how a first-rate academic macroeconomist comes to terms with some problems of practical monetary policy. There are only a very few economists in the world who could produce such a work.(Marvin Goodfriend, University of Virginia)
What is enlightened Federal Reserve policy? What are the concrete details of its theory? How does the Federal Open Market Committee know where to set the level of interest rates? How did they manage to conquer inflation? You can't easily find answers to these questions in the speeches of Fed Chairman or Governors. One can't easily find answers to these questions in the scholarly economic literature. If one seeks to learn from the scholarly economic literature, one must realize that important ideas are from papers written decades ago as well as from papers written recently. And one must take all of these sources with a healthy dose of skepticism. Alan Blinder, former Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, pulls all these elements of a theory of practical monetary policy together, and explains it candidly and well.
This is a book for people who really want to know the practical theory that lies behind the formulation of the best Fed policy.(Robert J. Shiller, Cowles Foundation, Yale University)
Blinder possesses the uncommon skill of translating his real life experience as a key central banker into the modern day rigor of macro economics. A must read for anyone who wants to understand the dramatic and increasingly complex evolution in the art of central banking.(Stephen S. Roach, Chief Economist and director of Global Economics, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter)
This brief exposé of central banking and monetary policy...should be required reading for all those, specialists and nonspecialists alike, interested in those subjects.(Manuel Guitián Finance and Development)
About the Author
Alan S. Blinder is G. S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of The Quiet Revolution: Central Banking Goes Modern and other books.
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I am generally curious about the topic of central banking and after reading various wikipedia and federal reserve pages I wanted a little more detail. The title and description made it seem like this would be the right next step, but the author generally assumes the reader had more in-depth knowledge of the core topics and references terms and theories without describing them. I was able to figure out the gist largely without external reference, but in retrospect I probably would have started with another book on the topic.
Example terms / concepts used without much description: IS/LM model, Tinbergen-Theil framework
If I were to re-title the book, I would probably call it "Blinder's Reflections on Central Banking in Theory and Practice" or something that might more accurately reflect the expected background of the reader.