There’s some historical elegance to the fact that the Fed’s annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is roughly as old as the modern Fed itself. The symposium, hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, started in 1978.
The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve is an informative and provocative history of the Fed and its remarkable evolution over a hundred years’ time: a complex institution, in a complex and changing environment.
Very importantly, author Peter Conti-Brown has included the Fed’s intellectual evolution, or the shifting of the ideas that shape its actions as these ideas go in and out of central banking fashion. This account makes readers wonder what new ideas and theories the leaders of the Fed will adopt, reinforce by groupthink with their fellow central bankers, and try out on us in future years.
How one might think about the biggest SIFI of them all. Ben Bernanke’s 2012 lectures on central banking as he has studied and practiced it, now published as The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis, make a short (129 pages), direct and instructive discussion of what is the world’s most potent financial institution, for better and for worse. In the wake of the 21st century’s financial crises, there has been a lot of regulatory agonizing about “SIFIs,” or “systemically important financial institutions.” The Federal Reserve itself is the biggest SIFI of them all. One can debate whether this has resulted in “The…