Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America

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A Federal Reserve insider pulls back the curtain on the secretive institution that controls America’s economy

After correctly predicting the housing crash of 2008 and quitting her high-ranking Wall Street job, Danielle DiMartino Booth was surprised to find herself recruited as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the regional centers of our complicated and widely misunderstood Federal Reserve System. She was shocked to discover just how much tunnel vision, arrogance, liberal dogma, and abuse of power drove the core policies of the Fed.

DiMartino Booth found a cabal of unelected academics who made decisions without the slightest understanding of the real world, just a slavish devo­tion to their theoretical models. Over the next nine years, she and her boss, Richard Fisher, tried to speak up about the dangers of Fed policies such as quanti­tative easing and deeply depressed interest rates. But as she puts it, “In a world rendered unsafe by banks that were too big to fail, we came to understand that the Fed was simply too big to fight.”

Now DiMartino Booth explains what really happened to our economy after the fateful date of December 8, 2008, when the Federal Open Market Committee approved a grand and unprecedented ex­periment: lowering interest rates to zero and flooding America with easy money. As she feared, millions of individuals, small businesses, and major corporations made rational choices that didn’t line up with the Fed’s “wealth effect” models. The result: eight years and counting of a sluggish “recovery” that barely feels like a recovery at all.

While easy money has kept Wall Street and the wealthy afloat and thriving, Main Street isn’t doing so well. Nearly half of men eighteen to thirty-four live with their parents, the highest level since the end of the Great Depression. Incomes are barely increasing for anyone not in the top ten percent of earners. And for those approaching or already in retirement, extremely low interest rates have caused their savings to stagnate. Millions have been left vulnerable and afraid.
Perhaps worst of all, when the next financial crisis arrives, the Fed will have no tools left for managing the panic that ensues. And then what?

DiMartino Booth pulls no punches in this exposé of the officials who run the Fed and the toxic culture they created. She blends her firsthand experiences with what she’s learned from dozens of high-powered market players, reams of financial data, and Fed docu­ments such as transcripts of FOMC meetings.

Whether you’ve been suspicious of the Fed for decades or barely know anything about it, as DiMartino Booth writes, “Every American must understand this extraordinarily powerful institution and how it affects his or her everyday life, and fight back.”
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About the author

Danielle DiMartino Booth is the founder of Money Strong, LLC, an economic consulting firm. She began her career in New York at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Credit Suisse, where she worked fixed income and the public and private equity markets. After work­ing as a financial columnist at the Dallas Morning News, DiMartino Booth spent nine years as an adviser to Richard Fisher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. She lives in Dallas with her family.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Feb 14, 2017
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780735211667
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / Government & Business
Business & Economics / Money & Monetary Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In 1971, President Nixon imposed national price controls and took the United States off the gold standard, an extreme measure intended to end an ongoing currency war that had destroyed faith in the U.S. dollar. Today we are engaged in a new currency war, and this time the consequences will be far worse than those that confronted Nixon.

 

Currency wars are one of the most destructive and feared outcomes in international economics. At best, they offer the sorry spectacle of countries' stealing growth from their trading partners. At worst, they degenerate into sequential bouts of inflation, recession, retaliation, and sometimes actual violence. Left unchecked, the next currency war could lead to a crisis worse than the panic of 2008.

Currency wars have happened before-twice in the last century alone-and they always end badly. Time and again, paper currencies have collapsed, assets have been frozen, gold has been confiscated, and capital controls have been imposed. And the next crash is overdue. Recent headlines about the debasement of the dollar, bailouts in Greece and Ireland, and Chinese currency manipulation are all indicators of the growing conflict.

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While the outcome of the new currency war is not yet certain, some version of the worst-case scenario is almost inevitable if U.S. and world economic leaders fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors. Rickards untangles the web of failed paradigms, wishful thinking, and arrogance driving current public policy and points the way toward a more informed and effective course of action.

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