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The Inside Story of the Fed, Just Like it Says
on December 21, 2001
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.