Last November, shortly after the election, I wrote a column that discussed the “claustrophobic, one-dimensional, group-think atmosphere” at the Federal Reserve. “With just a couple of exceptions, everyone on the Fed, voting or non-voting, is an economist, teaches economics, or worked in the banking industry on one side or the other,” I wrote then. No business people, no small business owners, no one “who lives and works in the real world, who has to deal with the edicts the Fed hands down.”
“Wouldn’t that perspective – even one – be a useful new voice to be considered when making monetary policy?” I asked. Continue reading "Revamping the Fed: The Time is Now"
By The Associated Press
In 2008, as they faced imploding financial markets and a staggering economy, Federal Reserve policymakers occasionally lightened their mood with references to Monty Python, "Desperate Housewives," "Star Wars" villains and plastic surgeons in San Francisco's East Bay.
They also sketched sometimes varying pictures of the financial crisis, with Janet Yellen, now the Fed chair, among those who most accurately grasped the depth of the crisis at hand.
The Fed on Friday released transcripts from its 14 policy meetings during 2008, six of them emergency conference calls. It was a frantic year in which officials rescued investment bank Bear Stearns, bailed out insurer American International Group and mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and allowed the venerable investment bank Lehman Brothers to fail in the biggest bankruptcy, in American history.
The documents offer some revealing behind-the-scenes looks at the Fed in action: Continue reading "Transcripts Show Fed Officials Easing Tension With Jokes"