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.

As James Rickards argues in Currency Wars, this is more than just a concern for economists and investors. The United States is facing serious threats to its national security, from clandestine gold purchases by China to the hidden agendas of sovereign wealth funds. Greater than any single threat is the very real danger of the collapse of the dollar itself.

Baffling to many observers is the rank failure of economists to foresee or prevent the economic catastrophes of recent years. Not only have their theories failed to prevent calamity, they are making the currency wars worse. The U. S. Federal Reserve has engaged in the greatest gamble in the history of finance, a sustained effort to stimulate the economy by printing money on a trillion-dollar scale. Its solutions present hidden new dangers while resolving none of the current dilemmas.

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.




From the Hardcover edition.
The Next 20 Years Will Be Completely Different From The Past
Current global trends are bleak: weak economic growth, too much debt, declining incomes for the lower 99%, a dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, and ecological destruction – just to name a few. Many of us understandably feel resigned to an eroding standard of living in the years to come. At best.
But what if we told you that there are specific, attainable steps you can take today that can limit your vulnerability to these trends and help you be:
- Richer
- Live with greater purpose
- Healthier
- More valued by others
- Happier
- Safer from harm

That’s exactly what Prosper! offers: a blueprint for taking control of and improving your destiny. It outlines practical, actionable investments of your time & resources that will ensure you enjoy greater prosperity in your life, whatever the future may bring.

In Prosper!, Martenson and Taggart will explain:
- The trends mostly likely to shape your life over the next 20 years
- Why developing resilience offers your best chance for thriving, even though society may suffer from the changes these trends may bring
- How to build true wealth
- What specific actions to take now to secure a prosperous future, no matter what the future holds
- How everybody can benefit from this guidance, regardless of age, income or ability How we can best serve the next generation by the actions we take today

Prosper! is the highly anticipated follow-up to Martenson’s acclaimed book The Crash Course (Wiley, 2011)
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A drumbeat is sounding among the global elites. The signs of a worldwide financial meltdown are unmistakable. This time, the elites have an audacious plan to protect themselves from the fallout: hoarding cash now and locking down the global financial system when a crisis hits.
 
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If you want to plan for the risks ahead, you will need Rickards’s cutting-edge synthesis of behavioral economics, history, and complexity theory. It’s a guidebook to thinking smarter, acting faster, and living with the comfort­ing knowledge that your wealth is secure.
 
The global elites don’t want this book to exist. Their plan to herd us like sheep to the slaughter when a global crisis erupts—and, of course, to maintain their wealth—works only if we remain complacent and unaware. Thanks to The Road to Ruin, we don’t need to be.

"If you are curious about what the financial Götterdämmerung might look like you’ve certainly come to the right place... Rickards believes -- and provides tantalizing snippets of private conversations with those who dwell in the very eye-in-the-pyramid -- that the current world monetary and financial system is on the verge of insolvency and that the world financial elites already have a successor system for which they are laying the groundwork."
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“Mervyn King may well have written the most important book to come out of the financial crisis. Agree or disagree, King’s visionary ideas deserve the attention of everyone from economics students to heads of state.” —Lawrence H. Summers

Something is wrong with our banking system. We all sense that, but Mervyn King knows it firsthand; his ten years at the helm of the Bank of England, including at the height of the financial crisis, revealed profound truths about the mechanisms of our capitalist society. In The End of Alchemy he offers us an essential work about the history and future of money and banking, the keys to modern finance.

The Industrial Revolution built the foundation of our modern capitalist age. Yet the flowering of technological innovations during that dynamic period relied on the widespread adoption of two much older ideas: the creation of paper money and the invention of banks that issued credit. We take these systems for granted today, yet at their core both ideas were revolutionary and almost magical. Common paper became as precious as gold, and risky long-term loans were transformed into safe short-term bank deposits. As King argues, this is financial alchemy—the creation of extraordinary financial powers that defy reality and common sense. Faith in these powers has led to huge benefits; the liquidity they create has fueled economic growth for two centuries now. However, they have also produced an unending string of economic disasters, from hyperinflations to banking collapses to the recent global recession and current stagnation.

How do we reconcile the potent strengths of these ideas with their inherent weaknesses? King draws on his unique experience to present fresh interpretations of these economic forces and to point the way forward for the global economy. His bold solutions cut through current overstuffed and needlessly complex legislation to provide a clear path to durable prosperity and the end of overreliance on the alchemy of our financial ancestors.

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