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In FED We Trust: Ben Bernanke's War On The Great Panic (2009)

by David Wessel(Favorite Author)
3.65 of 5 Votes: 3
0307459683 (ISBN13: 9780307459688)
Crown Business
review 1: This is another account of the financial crisis that began in late 2007 or so and really took off in 2008. The consequences of the crisis are still with it. The focus of this take on this period is on Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. The implied plan is to use the history and background of the Fed as the basis for understanding what Bernanke and Paulson (and others) were trying to do in managing the crisis. It is a helpful focus and the book is informative in understanding what the Fed did and why during the crisis. It is also honest in considering the experimental nature of how the crisis was managed -- and thus helps shed light on the perplexing nature of the policy path pursued by Bernanke and the Fed. Overall, the book is fairly effective and strikes a good ... morebalance between the personal characteristics of the actors involved and the institutional constraints within which they worked. This was a highly complex crisis and no single book will render it understandable. This book ends up moving the story in the right direction. I especially like how Wessel is thorough in showing both the intentions of this changes, as well as the uncertainties and remained among all the principal actors throughout this very unusual crisis. It is easy to get overwhelmed in reading about the crisis, but this book is worth the effort.
review 2: I read this last year. It was a solid effort. It did not overwhelm me with Fed interest rates talk. One of its merits is the approachable tone of Wesel's writing. He's knowledgeable about what made the Fed's response so haggard. But I think he had too much of a brief for Bernanke and let's his mistakes off too lightly. There was too much political decisionmaking by the Fed Open Markets Committee or Bernanke, Geithner, Warsh, and Kohn. Wessel seems to be defending this ---which is indefensible. Overall, I'd say at least one of the go-to's for a first historian waiting to write a definitive portrait of the Great Panic. less
Reviews (see all)
I pretty much support Bernanke, but this is mostly a puff piece.
Ok, read Too Big To Fail and Bailout... better at same topic
NYTimes called it riveting.
1/2 book
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