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Christian Lorentzen: Paul Krugman, 19 July 2012

... pleas to bring back the public option. In his book he wistfully recalls the late 1990s when Ben Bernanke, his former colleague at Princeton, called for Keynesian measures to alleviate Japan’s slump. Now Bernanke calls Krugman’s advocacy of increased inflation ‘reckless’. In 2008 Time put him on a list of ...

The Big Mystique

William Davies: Central Banks and Banking, 2 February 2017

The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath 
by Ben Bernanke.
Norton, 624 pp., £27.99, October 2015, 978 0 393 24721 3
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The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy 
by Mervyn King.
Little Brown, 448 pp., £25, March 2017, 978 0 349 14067 4
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... they’re up to. This effort has been a guiding principle of the careers of both Mervyn King and Ben Bernanke, who was chair of the Federal Reserve between 2006 and 2014. The watchword of central banking since the early 2000s has been ‘transparency’, with ‘inflation-targeting’ the mechanism chosen to achieve it. Once a central bank has made ...

Having Fun

Ben Jackson: Online Shaming, 8 April 2015

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed 
by Jon Ronson.
Picador, 277 pp., £16.99, March 2015, 978 0 330 49228 7
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... popping up, some of them seriously overestimating Upham’s importance by listing him alongside Ben Bernanke or Alvin Roth. Wood tracked down Venture Cap’s head office: the address was for a back entrance next to an Indian restaurant in Manhattan. He had found his way into the world of reputation management firms. There are hundreds of these groups ...

Bankocracy

John Lanchester: Lehman Brothers, 5 November 2009

The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider’s Look at the Global Meltdown 
by Joseph Tibman.
Brick Tower, 243 pp., £16.95, September 2009, 978 1 883283 71 1
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A Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers 
by Larry McDonald, in collaboration with Patrick Robinson.
Ebury, 351 pp., £7.99, September 2009, 978 0 09 193615 0
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... help. The response of Hank Paulson, Treasury secretary, backed by the head of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and the head of the New York branch of the Fed, Tim Geithner, was to summon a group of bank heads and tell them to put a deal together that would rescue Lehman. This was something that has been done a good few times over the years: a meeting of ...

Tempestuous Seasons

Adam Tooze: Keynes in China, 13 September 2018

In the Long Run We Are All Dead: Keynesianism, Political Economy and Revolution 
by Geoff Mann.
Verso, 432 pp., £20, January 2017, 978 1 78478 599 4
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... do this​ , we may not have an economy on Monday,’ the chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, said on 18 September 2008 when he demanded action from Congress to assist the banking system. Ten years later we do still have an economy. But it is worth asking whether the panic back then foreclosed other ways forward. In that terrible autumn ...

Cityphobia

John Lanchester: The Crash, 23 October 2008

... of the financial system followed. ‘Chaotic unwinding’ – good phrase. It was coined by Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, and formerly an academic whose special subject of study, usefully, was the Great Depression. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, on the other hand, were more directly done in by bad loans. These odd institutions ...

Corbyn’s Progress

Tariq Ali, 3 March 2016

... he was busy negotiating his very own private finance initiative with the investment firm Pimco (Ben Bernanke and the former ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet are also joining its ‘global advisory board’). Simultaneously, his ennobled former chancellor, Lord Darling, was on his way to work for Morgan Stanley in Wall Street. Blair, an adviser to ...

Bait and Switch

Simon Wren-Lewis: The Global Financial Crisis, 25 October 2018

Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World 
by Adam Tooze.
Allen Lane, 706 pp., £30, August 2018, 978 1 84614 036 5
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... even in the 1930s, had such a large and interconnected system come so close to total implosion.’ Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Fed at the time, calls the GFC the worst financial crisis in global history. The reason the GFC was more globally co-ordinated than the Depression is that it was caused by interconnected global banks. Tooze notes that every one ...

Is this the end of the American century?

Adam Tooze: America Pivots, 4 April 2019

... administration. The financial crisis-fighting of Hank Paulson as Bush’s Treasury secretary and Ben Bernanke at the Fed relied on the Democrats for congressional support. Elite leadership of the Republican Party collapsed. John McCain chose the shockingly unqualified Sarah Palin as a running mate in the 2008 election because she was hugely popular with ...

How Much Is Too Much?

Benjamin Kunkel: Marx’s Return, 3 February 2011

The Enigma of Capital: And the Crises of Capitalism 
by David Harvey.
Profile, 296 pp., £14.99, April 2010, 978 1 84668 308 4
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A Companion to Marx’s ‘Capital’ 
by David Harvey.
Verso, 368 pp., £10.99, March 2010, 978 1 84467 359 9
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... Krugman, discussing Roubini’s book in the New York Review of Books, agreed with him that what Ben Bernanke called the ‘global savings glut’ lay at the heart of the crisis, behind the proximate follies of deregulation, mortgage-securitisation, excessive leverage and so on. Originating in the current account surpluses of net-exporting countries ...

Towards the Precipice

Robert Brenner: The Continuing Collapse of the US Economy, 6 February 2003

... the Fed’s concern. Subsequent assurances by Chairman Greenspan and the Fed Governor, Ben Bernanke, that deflation was only a remote possibility – and could in any case easily be countered by the Fed’s printing money – naturally had an effect opposite to that intended. After more than a decade in which the balanced budget had assumed ...

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