A governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board from 1996 to 2002, Meyer here provides a window into the debates over monetary policy. He primarily discusses the activities of the Federal Open Market Committee, which is in charge of setting the federal funds rate, which heavily impacts the interest rates charged to businesses and households, and hence has a huge impact on the economy. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Meyer was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board by President Clinton in 1996, and his term coincided with some of the most momentous economic events of the second half of the 20th century-the collapse of the Asian banking system, the implosion of the Russian economy and the birth and death of the so-called New Economy. Meyer was at the center of global financial policy making and witness to the inner workings of arguably the most powerful government agency in the world. Unfortunately, too much jargon and unrelated personal anecdotes clutter the text; Meyer stumbles from blithe personal asides ("I figured that if I didn't faint or throw up on the President, the nomination was mine"). He is strongest at summarizing complex macroeconomic theory and practice. His breezy style helps unlock the mystery of national monetary policy and global finance. A mystery unsolved is that of Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, who is the central figure of the book. Though in close contact with him for six years, Meyer offers no more insight than one might find in a weekly news magazine. While broadly informative and certainly unique, the book represents an opportunity lost. Illus. (July) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.