Working with a Democratic President

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Monetary and fiscal policies are among the tools that governments use to boost economic growth and stabilize the economy. While fiscal policies are crafted through Congress and the President, the Federal Reserve System (FED), through its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), is given the discretion to formulate the country's monetary policies.


In Chapter 8 of the book, entitled "Working with a Democratic President," Beckner discussed Greenspan's reappointment as FED Chairman under the Democrat administration of Bill Clinton. Together with Greenspan, Alan Blinder, Lawrence Meyers, Alice Rivlin, Janet Yellen, and Ned Gramlich were also appointed to make up the Board of Governors - all of which are academic economists. One important point this book makes through this chapter, in light of the decision-making process under the FOMC, is the impact political factors have on the independence of the FED. This highlights the importance of the FED Chairman's character, especially in Greenspan's case under the Clinton administration.
The 1990s began with a recession caused by the FED's tightening of monetary policies during the late 80s. This recession, although mild compared to the earlier crises that the FED had to deal with, was the event, which set the course of monetary policy for the rest of the decade. As the book illustrated in previous chapters (Beckner, 1997), warding off the recession during this time was left to the hands of the FED because the government was powerless to render an effective fiscal policy. ...
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