This is the first guide to demystifying today's Federal Reserve - from the last days of Greenspan to the current financial crisis. Ben Bernanke is the world's most powerful economist. But in these turbulent times, how can you interpret Bernanke's actions and gauge their impact on your business, your investments and the world? In this in-depth look at Bernanke's Chairmanship of the Fed, Lehman Brothers' Chief U.S. economist Ethan Harris demystifies the policy choices and pronouncements of the Fed chair and explains how they influence the global economy. Harris' accessible portrayal is the tool you need to understand and anticipate Bernanke's decisions and communications by putting his actions into clear context. Harris explains how Bernanke's academic research and experience as Fed governor shape his choices in the extremely challenging environment he inherited from Alan Greenspan. How do his studies of the Great Depression inform his policy decisions? Why does Bernanke seem to have so much trouble communicating with the markets? How is he handling the housing crisis? And how will he manage asset price bubbles in the future?
Understanding Bernanke beyond the headlines is critical to predicting business and financial trends. This realistic assessment is also critical to answering the perennial question: how does Bernanke measure up to his legendary predecessor and constant benchmark, Alan Greenspan? Harris dispels myths about Greenspan, realistically defining both his successes and the errors that set the stage for Bernanke's chairmanship. Harris also reevalutes how the Fed itself analyzes and manages the economy. He explains the central bank's decision-making process, the levers at its disposal and the specific effects of its decisions to show in practical terms exactly what the Fed really can and cannot do. Misconceptions and myths surround Bernanke and the Fed. But "Ben Bernanke's Fed" helps readers gain a more realistic perspective and finally to judge Bernanke for themselves.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: All About the Benjamin Part I: Bernanke's Backdrop Chapter 2: How the World Works Chapter 3: Secrets of the Temple Chapter 4: Declaration of Independence Chapter 5: Blowing Smoke Part II: Bernanke's Benchmark Chapter 6: Greenspan: The Man Chapter 7: Greenspan: The Myth Part III: Bernanke Chapter 8: Constrained Discretion Chapter 9: Depression Obsession Chapter 10: Glasnost Chapter 11: Zen and the Art of Monetary Maintenance Chapter 12: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil Chapter 13: Radical Risk Management Part IV: Bernanke's Beginning Chapter 14: Murphy's Law Chapter 15: Flip-Flopping Under Pressure? Conclusion: Can Bernanke walk the walk?
Ethan Harris is a Managing Director and Co-chief U.S. Economist for Barclays Capital. A former research officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, he has taken top honors in the Wall Street Journal's economic-forecasting rankings for 2007 and is regularly one of the top fixed income economists in the Institutional Investor poll. He is responsible for the firm's forecast and analysis of the U.S. economy and has become one of the countrys most quoted economists. Dr. Harris has written extensively about the linkages between geopolitical events and the economy, the unique nature of the current business cycle and the outlook for monetary and fiscal policy. Dr. Harris previously worked for nine years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. There, he served as the research officer in charge of the domestic division and as the assistant to the bank's president. Dr. Harris also worked for several years as an international economist at JP Morgan. Dr. Harris has a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. He earned a BA in economics from Clark University. Harris lives in Westfield, N.J., with his wife, two children and three cats. In his spare time, he studies history and follows the Boston Red Sox.