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The Fed and the crisis
The former chair has penned a lucid account of the crisis and its aftermath
The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and its Aftermath. By Ben Bernanke. Norton; 610 pages; $35
BEN BERNANKE is known for his cool head and thoughtful persona. Towards the end of his stint as chairman of the Federal Reserve, which ran from 2006 to 2014, President Obama described him as the “epitome of calm”. It is little surprise, then, that Mr Bernanke’s narrative of his time in office is a lucid, analytical affair, lacking some of the pulsating drama of previous accounts of the financial crisis. Instead, the book provides a robust defence of the Fed’s response to the crisis. Mr Bernanke clearly sees himself as someone who did what was necessary to save the economy from disaster, in the face of a barrage of unwarranted criticism. This book is, at base, a response to his critics.
When markets began to gum up in late 2007, Mr Bernanke, a student of the Depression, knew the …
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