Central Banking after the Great Recession

Central Banking after the Great Recession

Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead

The global financial crisis is largely behind us, but the challenges it poses to the future stability of the world’s economic system affects everyone from American families to Main Street businesses to Wall Street financial powerhouses. It has provoked controversy over the best way to reduce the risk of a repeat of what proved to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. To describe those challenges—and the lessons learned—the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings turned to frontline policymakers and some of their most prominent critics.

Central Banking after the Great Recession contains the resulting research, leading off with a telling interview between Ben Bernanke, then in his final weeks as Federal Reserve chairman, and Liaquat Ahamed, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Lords of Finance. Insightful chapters by John Williams of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, Paul Tucker of Harvard University, and Donald Kohn of Brookings discuss unconventional monetary policy, financial regulation, the impact of the crisis on the independence of the Federal Reserve. Each chapter is followed by a lively debate.

Contents

Acknowledgments

1. Introduction
David Wessel

2. A Conversation with Ben Bernanke
Liaquat Ahamed and Ben Bernanke

3. Monetary Policy When Rates Hit Zero: Putting Theory into Practice
John C. Williams

Discussion with Martin Feldstein, Paul Tucker, Greg Ip, Jon Hilsenrath, and Abby Joseph Cohen

4. Regulatory Reform: What’s Done? What Isn’t?
Paul Tucker

Discussion with Rodgin Cohen, Martin Feldstein, Paul Saltzman, Doug Elliott

5. Federal Reserve Independence after the Financial Crisis: Should We Be Worried?
Donald Kohn

Discussion with Christina Romer, Kenneth Rogoff, Donald Kohn, and Andy Levin

About the Participants