A former chair of the Federal Reserve explains the transformation of one our most powerful and consequential institutions.

In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Federal Reserve and central banks worldwide have deployed tools that past policymakers and economists might have considered radical. Programs like large-scale securities purchases and a new policy framework remain a source of confusion for investors, journalists, and ordinary citizens alike.

Twenty-First Century Monetary Policy demystifies these opaque techniques to reveal how economic ideas, historical events, and political forces have transformed the Fed’s policies over several decades. From the stagflation of the 1970s to the Great Recession and the recent pandemic, Ben S. Bernanke masterfully examines how the Fed’s policies—and the institution itself—may change as it grapples with persistently low interest rates, systemic financial risk, rapid technological change, and polarized politics. With unparalleled depth of expertise and robust historical sweep, Twenty-First Century Monetary Policy is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding modern finance, investments, or U.S. economic policy.

The Courage to Act Available Now

Now available in paperback with a new afterword.

An unrivaled look at the fight to save the American economy.

“Undoubtedly the best account we will ever have of how government and financial institutions dealt with what has come to be known as the Great Recession.” —New York Times Book Review

A Bloomberg Best Book of 2015

A Financial Times Best Book of 2015

Library Journal Best Core Nonfiction 2015

In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve. There would be little time to celebrate. The bursting of a housing bubble in 2007 exposed the hidden vulnerabilities of the global financial system, bringing it to the brink of meltdown. In this New York Times bestseller, now updated with a new afterword in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, Bernanke tells the inside story of how his team at the Fed fought the crisis with every tool at their disposal to prevent an economic collapse of unimaginable scale.

“A fascinating account of the effort to save the world from another [Great Depression]. . . . Humanity should be grateful. ” —Financial Times

“A careful, detailed, and exceptionally clear justification for the Fed’s aggressive actions to avert another Great Depression and resuscitate the American economy. ” —Washington Post

About the Author

BEN S. BERNANKE Ben S. Bernanke is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. Author of the best-selling memoir The Courage to Act, he served as chair of the Federal Reserve from 2006 to 2014. In October 2022, Dr. Bernanke won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

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