Leadership at the Fed

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Leadership at the Fed

By Donald F. Kettl
Yale University Press, 1986
218 pp. $22.50
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"For the Fed to survive, it must travel a politically acceptable course through irreconcilable demands." How that course has been found in spite of tension with every president, occasional surges of congressional pressure, shifting economic priorities and changing views as to what the Federal Reserve Board's responsibilities really are is the main subject of this good and interesting book. Professor Kettl, a political scientist, stresses the leadership role of the chairman and has enlightening, fairly detailed accounts of the different styles and experience of Marriner Eccles, William McChesney Martin, Arthur Burns and Paul Volcker. He rather neglects the international dimension of the Fed's work and does not tell us if it helped or hindered the effort to maintain the board's "independence."

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