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Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America

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A Federal Reserve insider pulls back the curtain on the secretive institution that controls America’s economy After correctly predicting the housing crash of 2008 and quitting her high-ranking Wall Street job, Danielle DiMartino Booth was surprised to find herself recruited as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the regional centers of our complicated A Federal Reserve insider pulls back the curtain on the secretive institution that controls America’s economy After correctly predicting the housing crash of 2008 and quitting her high-ranking Wall Street job, Danielle DiMartino Booth was surprised to find herself recruited as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the regional centers of our complicated and widely misunderstood Federal Reserve System. She was shocked to discover just how much tunnel vision, arrogance, liberal dogma, and abuse of power drove the core policies of the Fed. DiMartino Booth found a cabal of unelected academics who made decisions without the slightest understanding of the real world, just a slavish devo­tion to their theoretical models. Over the next nine years, she and her boss, Richard Fisher, tried to speak up about the dangers of Fed policies such as quanti­tative easing and deeply depressed interest rates. But as she puts it, “In a world rendered unsafe by banks that were too big to fail, we came to understand that the Fed was simply too big to fight.” Now DiMartino Booth explains what really happened to our economy after the fateful date of December 8, 2008, when the Federal Open Market Committee approved a grand and unprecedented ex­periment: lowering interest rates to zero and flooding America with easy money. As she feared, millions of individuals, small businesses, and major corporations made rational choices that didn’t line up with the Fed’s “wealth effect” models. The result: eight years and counting of a sluggish “recovery” that barely feels like a recovery at all. While easy money has kept Wall Street and the wealthy afloat and thriving, Main Street isn’t doing so well. Nearly half of men eighteen to thirty-four live with their parents, the highest level since the end of the Great Depression. Incomes are barely increasing for anyone not in the top ten percent of earners. And for those approaching or already in retirement, extremely low interest rates have caused their savings to stagnate. Millions have been left vulnerable and afraid. Perhaps worst of all, when the next financial crisis arrives, the Fed will have no tools left for managing the panic that ensues. And then what? DiMartino Booth pulls no punches in this exposé of the officials who run the Fed and the toxic culture they created. She blends her firsthand experiences with what she’s learned from dozens of high-powered market players, reams of financial data, and Fed docu­ments such as transcripts of FOMC meetings. Whether you’ve been suspicious of the Fed for decades or barely know anything about it, as DiMartino Booth writes, “Every American must understand this extraordinarily powerful institution and how it affects his or her everyday life, and fight back.”


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A Federal Reserve insider pulls back the curtain on the secretive institution that controls America’s economy After correctly predicting the housing crash of 2008 and quitting her high-ranking Wall Street job, Danielle DiMartino Booth was surprised to find herself recruited as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the regional centers of our complicated A Federal Reserve insider pulls back the curtain on the secretive institution that controls America’s economy After correctly predicting the housing crash of 2008 and quitting her high-ranking Wall Street job, Danielle DiMartino Booth was surprised to find herself recruited as an analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, one of the regional centers of our complicated and widely misunderstood Federal Reserve System. She was shocked to discover just how much tunnel vision, arrogance, liberal dogma, and abuse of power drove the core policies of the Fed. DiMartino Booth found a cabal of unelected academics who made decisions without the slightest understanding of the real world, just a slavish devo­tion to their theoretical models. Over the next nine years, she and her boss, Richard Fisher, tried to speak up about the dangers of Fed policies such as quanti­tative easing and deeply depressed interest rates. But as she puts it, “In a world rendered unsafe by banks that were too big to fail, we came to understand that the Fed was simply too big to fight.” Now DiMartino Booth explains what really happened to our economy after the fateful date of December 8, 2008, when the Federal Open Market Committee approved a grand and unprecedented ex­periment: lowering interest rates to zero and flooding America with easy money. As she feared, millions of individuals, small businesses, and major corporations made rational choices that didn’t line up with the Fed’s “wealth effect” models. The result: eight years and counting of a sluggish “recovery” that barely feels like a recovery at all. While easy money has kept Wall Street and the wealthy afloat and thriving, Main Street isn’t doing so well. Nearly half of men eighteen to thirty-four live with their parents, the highest level since the end of the Great Depression. Incomes are barely increasing for anyone not in the top ten percent of earners. And for those approaching or already in retirement, extremely low interest rates have caused their savings to stagnate. Millions have been left vulnerable and afraid. Perhaps worst of all, when the next financial crisis arrives, the Fed will have no tools left for managing the panic that ensues. And then what? DiMartino Booth pulls no punches in this exposé of the officials who run the Fed and the toxic culture they created. She blends her firsthand experiences with what she’s learned from dozens of high-powered market players, reams of financial data, and Fed docu­ments such as transcripts of FOMC meetings. Whether you’ve been suspicious of the Fed for decades or barely know anything about it, as DiMartino Booth writes, “Every American must understand this extraordinarily powerful institution and how it affects his or her everyday life, and fight back.”

30 review for Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Federal Reserve is Bad for America

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Huntington

    A riveting, insider's view of the Federal Reserve and the negative impact their policies and culture have had on most Americans. It is a scary view of academics believing they can control the U.S. and world economies. The result of their policy making from Greenspan and continuing with Yellen - 2008 financial crisis, lowest creation of new households, Wall Street out of control, huge wealth disparity, pension plans unable to fund liabilities, lack of true jobs that create value and the list goes A riveting, insider's view of the Federal Reserve and the negative impact their policies and culture have had on most Americans. It is a scary view of academics believing they can control the U.S. and world economies. The result of their policy making from Greenspan and continuing with Yellen - 2008 financial crisis, lowest creation of new households, Wall Street out of control, huge wealth disparity, pension plans unable to fund liabilities, lack of true jobs that create value and the list goes on. The "big banks" are bigger than ever with little, if any, understanding how they are making their money and the expectation, the U.S. taxpayers will absorb any risk. This book is not for the faint of heart.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Athan Tolis

    When a Fed insider, somebody with nine years of service at the permanently dissenting Dallas Fed, decides to blow the whistle on the most contentious (and perhaps even the most independent) branch of government, you drop what you’re doing and you read what they have to say. I was dying to hear Danielle DiMartino Booth’s inside view on how an organization like the Fed balances its often opposing roles of monitoring the economy versus cheerleading, the inside view of how the sundry presidents coord When a Fed insider, somebody with nine years of service at the permanently dissenting Dallas Fed, decides to blow the whistle on the most contentious (and perhaps even the most independent) branch of government, you drop what you’re doing and you read what they have to say. I was dying to hear Danielle DiMartino Booth’s inside view on how an organization like the Fed balances its often opposing roles of monitoring the economy versus cheerleading, the inside view of how the sundry presidents coordinate with each other, the inside view on what the staff is told to research and how the results of the research are released, the inside view on how the Fed is adjusting its famous (and famously inadequate) models to the changing environment around it, the inside view on the unofficial role the value of the dollar plays in the calculation of interest rate policy (the dollar is allegedly the business of the Treasury, but how can it only be that?), the inside view of what responsibility the Fed has to other nations that effectively peg their currency to the dollar, the inside view on how the Fed calculates the pros and cons of zero interest rates for savers versus businesses, the inside view on the discussion that is surely taking place regarding whether it is the level of QE purchases or the pace of new purchases that influences the economy more (Bernanke is on record saying it’s the level, but that’s just his view), the inside view of how it will be best to go about unwinding QE, the inside view of the debate that must be raging on when and how this process ought to start, the inside view on the true level of labor slack, the insider view on labor hysteresis (a Yellen special), the inside view on what the wealth effects of low rates are, who they accrete to and how they trickle down. Away from the technical, I was also hoping that the book might probe the more political / more philosophical issues: Why did the Fed shift from the “taking away the punchbowl” mode to “money for nothing” mode at the historical juncture when it did? Greenspan was a man of his time, surely, not a shaper of opinion. When did the Fed become an underwriter of prosperity rather than a guarantor of the system’s integrity? Is the above ever discussed in the inner sanctum? Well, I’ve finished the book and I’m none the wiser about any of the above. This account alternates between telling the personal story of the author’s career at the Fed, providing an actually rather decent narrative of how the crisis of 2006-2009 unfolded (which would be fine if this was not the tenth such book I’ve bought), complaining that Goldman Sachs has infiltrated the Fed like it’s done all other important parts of government (watch out: the Germans have invaded Poland, I’m told) and moaning about the insularity of the Fed’s staff, all of whom hold a PhD in Economics from MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Yale or Chicago (memo to the author: their problem with you is that 1. for all your three degrees, you are uneducated and for example think Pandora came out of the box, as you say on page 40 / economically uneducated and think the delays to the official data come from seasonalisation, which is instant, not that you don’t have a PhD and 2. Unlike your boss Fisher, geeks often do not realize that the uneducated can have valid views). Away from the author’s, at times interesting and touching, personal story, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING here that you could not have found in the newspaper, I’m afraid. Except perhaps for stuff that I could not possibly care about. Dunno, for example Dallas represents the 11th district and San Francisco the 12th. Or where the checks get processed, where the bullion is kept and where the cash is kept. I’ve already forgotten, because I could not care less, but that stuff actually can be found in the book. Along with the fact that the Fed did not see the crisis coming. Duh. If you were abducted by aliens in 2006 and they just released you and for some reason you want to find out about the financial crisis of 2006 – 2009 this book is as good a book as any other book out there and probably better in some respects, because the author has some great credibility in the “I told you so” department: she did see the crisis coming and she wrote about it, first in the press and then in her internal reports in the Fed. Buy it, read it and you’ll have a decent idea about how it went. But it truly does not contain a single original finding. In the absence of original thoughts, the book would still be worth buying if the author had listed all her gripes with the Fed clearly in one place. A well-drafted chapter on all the failings of the Fed, written by somebody with the authority that can only come from having been on the inside, would have been dynamite. You won’t find one here, I’m afraid. The sundry issues the author has with the Fed are diffused through the story and only ever summarized (kind of) in the… introduction. In short, this book does not build an argument. It’s a long moan, with some history thrown in. I pretty much agree the author’s views on most of the issues, so I find that to be a total shame.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jay Pruitt

    Fantastic "tell-all" detailing the incompetence of what has now become the 4th branch of the US government, the Federal Reserve. It's frightening to think that it's now the Fed, not the Treasury or the White House or Congress, that is the primary economic decision policymaker in this country. Written a few years ago, Ms. Booth's book sets the stage for what I believe will be looked back upon as the Great Spending Spree of 2020-2021. While this book goes a bit more in depth than some may care for Fantastic "tell-all" detailing the incompetence of what has now become the 4th branch of the US government, the Federal Reserve. It's frightening to think that it's now the Fed, not the Treasury or the White House or Congress, that is the primary economic decision policymaker in this country. Written a few years ago, Ms. Booth's book sets the stage for what I believe will be looked back upon as the Great Spending Spree of 2020-2021. While this book goes a bit more in depth than some may care for, its subject matter is really spot-on. The author, who once worked for the Fed, is clearly brighter (despite not having the Ivy League pedigree prized by the Fed culture) than the fools she worked for.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Pedro L. Fragoso

    “No more excuses. The Fed’s mandate isn’t to have a perfect world. That only exists in fairy tales, dreams, and the Fed’s econometric models.” The failure of the fraudulent model that underpins what passes by “capitalism” these days has been inspiring a slew of excellent books, both published and TBP. On the financial system itself, and specifically the ever-direr consequences of the central planning, and the PhD determination, of the most important price in capitalism, the price of money itself “No more excuses. The Fed’s mandate isn’t to have a perfect world. That only exists in fairy tales, dreams, and the Fed’s econometric models.” The failure of the fraudulent model that underpins what passes by “capitalism” these days has been inspiring a slew of excellent books, both published and TBP. On the financial system itself, and specifically the ever-direr consequences of the central planning, and the PhD determination, of the most important price in capitalism, the price of money itself (i.e., the interest rate), the books include works by David Stockman, James Rickards, Mervyn King (Governor of the Bank of England from 2003 to 2013, whose recent book of analysis and reflection is appropriately titled “The End of Alchemy”), Satyajit Das (“A Banquet of Consequences”), Nomi Prins (“Artisans of Money”, TPB) and Anne Pettifour (“The Production of Money”) and many others (including Michael Hudson’s latest tomes; Prof. Hudson is in favour of the central planning, and the PhD determination, of the most important price in capitalism, but he does have lots of wisdom, knowledge and reasoning to share). So, several important, relevant books, that have extensively dissected the subject, and Danielle DiMartino Booth’s “Fed Up” manages to shine through. This, she achieves with her extensive inside knowledge, which proves even more frightening than one would expect (i.e., they really do not have a clue) and her direct, frank, no-nonsense approach and views. There’s something to be said about being right when and where it matters while all the PhD’s in Economics surrounding you are focusing on their belly buttons (or their peer validated models, which essentially the same), and the certain knowledge that you are right doesn’t take you anywhere. How’s the poem? (“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, if you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, if you can wait and not be tired by waiting, or being lied about, don’t deal in lies”, etc.). Something along these lines. This book is important and, chock-full of choice morsels, it’s a pleasure to read, which doesn’t hurt a bit. As in: “The Fed’s medicine was incapable of treating the disease in the system, but they insisted on using it. By doing so, they began to cripple the very banks they desperately needed to convalesce. In an attempt to keep things flowing, the Fed expanded the type of assets it would accept as collateral from distressed banks, reduced penalty rates to virtually nothing, and speeded up auctions of quality bonds, so banks could put those on their balance sheets and off-load the junk onto the Fed.” Or: “One of Lemann’s final observations: ‘The Fed, not the Treasury or the White House or Congress, is now the primary economic policymaker in the United States, and therefore the world.’ But what if Yellen’s theoretical paradigm is dead wrong? The woman who ‘did not see and did not appreciate what the risks were with securitization, the credit rating agencies, the shadow banking system, the SIVs … until it happened’ has led us straight into an abyss.” “Mistakes by the Fed included missing the housing bubble and financial crisis, being ‘blinded’ to the slowdown in the growth of worker productivity, and failing to anticipate how inflation behaved in regard to the job market. The Fed’s economic projections of GDP and how fast the economy would grow were wrong time and again.” It's not only fully justified and founded criticism of one of the most important constructs of civilization: The author has suggestions and offer guidelines to salvage the institution, not to tear it apart: “Congress should release the Fed from the bondage of its dual mandate. (…) The Fed needs to get out of the business of trying to compel people to spend by manipulating inflation expectations. Not only has it introduced a dangerous addiction to debt among all players in the economy, it has succeeded in virtually outlawing saving. (…) Under ZIRP, only fools save for a rainy day. The floor on overnight rates must be permanently raised to at least 2 percent and Fed officials should pledge to never again breach that floor. (…) Limit the number of academic PhDs at the Fed, not just among the leadership but on the staffs of the Board and District Banks. Bring in more actual practitioners— businesspeople who have been on the receiving end of Fed policy, CEOs and CFOs, people who have been on the hot seat, who have witnessed the financialization of the country and believe that American companies should make things and provide services, not just move money around.” Etc. Anyway, moral hazard, hubris and myopia, my friends. Hubris & Myopia, indeed. A world gone madder. What can one say? Full faith and credit! Amen.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cesar

    Conclusion of the book: Congress is run by the feds. The feds are run by wall street and the banks. What's going on? Conclusion of the book: Congress is run by the feds. The feds are run by wall street and the banks. What's going on?

  6. 5 out of 5

    Thomas J. Rodilosso

    also interesting to read during the market debacle

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Jones

    DiMartino Booth provides very interesting insights about workings of the Fed and personalities of some recent figures who ran the place. However the book devoted way too much time to a summary of the 2008 Financial Crisis - covered much better in many other books - and her own hostility against some of her former colleagues. I wish it had been more focused and shorter but worth reading at least the first couple of chapters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lydia Beaver

    Learned so much... Towards the end I started to slow down as I felt that things were starting to get repetitive BUT her point was driven home and the last chapter finished really strong. She gives approx 10 changes that she feels need to be instituted in the Fed (i.e. hire more business ppl less PhDs; reallocate regional bank HQs to represent more accurate capital structure nowadays; give regional presidents a permanent vote, etc). I found myself agreeing with her on almost everything. It was im Learned so much... Towards the end I started to slow down as I felt that things were starting to get repetitive BUT her point was driven home and the last chapter finished really strong. She gives approx 10 changes that she feels need to be instituted in the Fed (i.e. hire more business ppl less PhDs; reallocate regional bank HQs to represent more accurate capital structure nowadays; give regional presidents a permanent vote, etc). I found myself agreeing with her on almost everything. It was impactful to hear her take the mystique out of the Fed and just remind everyone that the employees of the Fed are just normal people (who mostly all think similarly) following models. Humbling and terrifying... S/O to David Winston for making me supplement my Elisabeth Elliot with a little Danielle Booth

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    An eye opening expose on why the Fed was not ringing alarm bells right up until (and even after) the Bear Stearns fire sale to JP Morgan, and how the Fed has artificially propping up the economy in the time since rather than let the free market reign. Ms. Booth goes into great detail as to why this institution controlled by Ivy league academics and Goldman Sachs alumni is bad for every nation, not just America. It's time to end the Fed - this book will tell you why. An eye opening expose on why the Fed was not ringing alarm bells right up until (and even after) the Bear Stearns fire sale to JP Morgan, and how the Fed has artificially propping up the economy in the time since rather than let the free market reign. Ms. Booth goes into great detail as to why this institution controlled by Ivy league academics and Goldman Sachs alumni is bad for every nation, not just America. It's time to end the Fed - this book will tell you why.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maha Mansoor

    As a proud non-academic, it is surprising that Booth provided an academic's answer to the question posed in her title "Why is the federal reserve bad for America?"... meaning that she did not provide a clear or precise one. She wrote a countless number of stories and perhaps examples, but after reading the entire book, I'm left assuming that the Fed is bad for America because it has a "jello structure", is plagued with groupthink, myopia, and is in fact, Federal Sachs. I think? Booth is also an e As a proud non-academic, it is surprising that Booth provided an academic's answer to the question posed in her title "Why is the federal reserve bad for America?"... meaning that she did not provide a clear or precise one. She wrote a countless number of stories and perhaps examples, but after reading the entire book, I'm left assuming that the Fed is bad for America because it has a "jello structure", is plagued with groupthink, myopia, and is in fact, Federal Sachs. I think? Booth is also an economists' economist. Meaning her book is targeted towards general economists rather than the lay person. I am acquainted with economic policy to the extent the general section of my national newspaper exposes, and in general, didn't understand much of the book (in the sense that I did not understand the policy decisions she was exposing). Oddly at many times, I wondered if Booth had provided the full term for much of the acronyms used. Finally, as previous commenters have noted, this is a good recount for everything that happened during the 2006-2015 recession from the perspective of the federal reserve's failures. It did not feel to expose anything new, but rather, provide some proof that the Fed is to blame. I would only suggest to read this if you have prior knowledge on the topic.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Collins Hinga

    This book is a revelation that you can't always trust institutions whose mandate is to act in your -the public- best interest. The Fed's policies seem to have caused more harm than good to ordinary Americans and exponentially widened the rift between the haves and have-nots. It has also been eyeopening for me to see through the lens of this book that Economic models, even if formulated by the brightest of minds aren't without their limitations. People's behavior don't always conform to these Eco This book is a revelation that you can't always trust institutions whose mandate is to act in your -the public- best interest. The Fed's policies seem to have caused more harm than good to ordinary Americans and exponentially widened the rift between the haves and have-nots. It has also been eyeopening for me to see through the lens of this book that Economic models, even if formulated by the brightest of minds aren't without their limitations. People's behavior don't always conform to these Economic prognostications. The ordinary citizen isn't as 'Homo Economicus' as Economists would have us believe. They are very nuanced and affected by factors outside Economists' realm of sagacity. I was however disappointed by the author's cursory brush through the canvas of potential panaceas or recommendations for reinventing the Fed and its objective(s) in the final chapter. Seeing as she has worked in the Fed for a lengthy period of time and seen the rot within first hand, I feel the author could have done a bit better in suggesting solutions. Nonetheless, this is a good book to get a sneak peak into the inner workings and intricacies of the Fed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Timc

    This was a tough read. The subject is very interesting to me, and I remember well the 2008 economic crisis. I found this book, accidentally, through reading an internet article by the author, which I found well written and insightful. I researched her literary work and found this book. The author takes us through her journey of working with the US FED before, during and after the crisis. Her insights are riveting and her descriptions of the events and the various players are excellent. There is q This was a tough read. The subject is very interesting to me, and I remember well the 2008 economic crisis. I found this book, accidentally, through reading an internet article by the author, which I found well written and insightful. I researched her literary work and found this book. The author takes us through her journey of working with the US FED before, during and after the crisis. Her insights are riveting and her descriptions of the events and the various players are excellent. There is quite a bit of economic "jargon" and many uses of acronyms. This is always a pet peeve of mine. I think the rule is to use the full title with acronym in parenthesis, and from then forward, just use the acronym. This doesn't work for me unless I keep a list of the acronyms beside me when I read. I wish authors, especially in highly technical books, would continue to use the full name or title. It makes the reading process much more enjoyable for me. Regardless, if you enjoy this type of literature, economic history, then you will appreciate this book. I bought the audio version, which is narrated by the author, the quality of which is low.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Opa

    Not a book for everyone. Ever want to know what the Federal Reserve Bank does? Me too. Now I know so much that my head wants to explode. The author intertwines her personal career at the Fed with history that I lived through but had little understanding of what was going on with the US economy. I just never realized how much power the Fed has over our lives. The power can be summarized in an inside joke at the Fed. "Who is the president of the People's Republic of China central bank? The answer Not a book for everyone. Ever want to know what the Federal Reserve Bank does? Me too. Now I know so much that my head wants to explode. The author intertwines her personal career at the Fed with history that I lived through but had little understanding of what was going on with the US economy. I just never realized how much power the Fed has over our lives. The power can be summarized in an inside joke at the Fed. "Who is the president of the People's Republic of China central bank? The answer is: "Ben Bernanke or now Janet Yellen". The decisions that the chairman of the US Fed makes affect the whole world. Ms Booth's writing was both entertaining and detailed beyond belief. I am glad that I read it, but now I see the downside. We are totally dependent on the poor decisions and poor choices that a few elite "central planners" make with no opportunity or voice to correct them. Ms Booth offers some suggestions that might improve Fed, but I don't see any of that happening in my lifetime.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Roselyne Gerszewski

    I had wondered, to some extent, what really happened in 2005 and up. I sadly found out. This lady has a knack for explaining in the most understandable words, the mess between "The Feds, the investment banks, and that superiority complex they have. I have a friend who compared Bernanke and John Law as twins separated by 300years. When I sent the quote that Yellen is worse than Bernanke and Greenspan Combined. He was horrified. I didn't think it was possible to be worse than Greenspan. Sorry I do I had wondered, to some extent, what really happened in 2005 and up. I sadly found out. This lady has a knack for explaining in the most understandable words, the mess between "The Feds, the investment banks, and that superiority complex they have. I have a friend who compared Bernanke and John Law as twins separated by 300years. When I sent the quote that Yellen is worse than Bernanke and Greenspan Combined. He was horrified. I didn't think it was possible to be worse than Greenspan. Sorry I do not have a PhD, especially in economics, but I have common sense. I do not like computers as these learned people do. We do need to blame Washington elected officials. How do we get out? Get rid of all the John Maynard Keynes working at the feds, let's audit the gold not only ours but the other countries. Why is Germany feel it is necessary to melt the repatriated gold. We could have this person write a book about this subject

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Fuller

    I told myself I wanted to read a book or two about economics this year and I could not have picked a better book to start with. The author's voice is distinctive and inviting. She takes complex topics and breaks them down so that anyone can follow them without talking down to the reader. The book draws clear lines between the actions of bankers, money markets, and the Federal Reserve and the real (if sometimes seemingly indirect) consequences on issues like housing and job growth. She connects t I told myself I wanted to read a book or two about economics this year and I could not have picked a better book to start with. The author's voice is distinctive and inviting. She takes complex topics and breaks them down so that anyone can follow them without talking down to the reader. The book draws clear lines between the actions of bankers, money markets, and the Federal Reserve and the real (if sometimes seemingly indirect) consequences on issues like housing and job growth. She connects the dots on exactly why the rich have gotten richer and the poor and middle classes have gotten poorer in the last twenty or so years. It was fascinating to learn exactly what isn't working and why, who has tried to fix it and why they've failed, who *should* be trying to fix things but isn't, and what Americans should be calling for if they want change. (Spoilers: it's not abolishing the Fed.) This was magnificently well written and I absolutely recommend it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    John Meagher

    "Nobody could have predicted the housing bubble" except all the people who DID, yet were mocked or ignored. But never mind them, you should only be listening to the ivory tower experts with academic theories and skewed data computer models. They delude themselves into thinking the economy can be incrementally dialed up or down like a thermostat. Lots of fancy jargon is used to obfuscate their actions. They know most people's eyes glaze over after a few minutes of monetary legalese- the almost Or "Nobody could have predicted the housing bubble" except all the people who DID, yet were mocked or ignored. But never mind them, you should only be listening to the ivory tower experts with academic theories and skewed data computer models. They delude themselves into thinking the economy can be incrementally dialed up or down like a thermostat. Lots of fancy jargon is used to obfuscate their actions. They know most people's eyes glaze over after a few minutes of monetary legalese- the almost Orwellian "Fed Speak." Any "stimulus" the government hands out will inevitably cost us much more in the long run. The wealth effect is merely a trick and not true prosperity. All the same mistakes will be made AGAIN whenever this reinflated bubble pops. Once you get on the quantitative easing train there's no stopping until the inevitable crash.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Pankaj

    After all the publicity hype about "an insider's view of the Fed Reserve" I started to turn the pages to get to "insights" by Danielle, sadly to be disappointed. She started off by introducing her own background and with a great deal of "humility" establishes how she might have been perceived as a misfit in the corridors of power, perpetuated by politics, Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street entities, and, renowned academics with great theoretical learning but mostly lacking relevant experience i After all the publicity hype about "an insider's view of the Fed Reserve" I started to turn the pages to get to "insights" by Danielle, sadly to be disappointed. She started off by introducing her own background and with a great deal of "humility" establishes how she might have been perceived as a misfit in the corridors of power, perpetuated by politics, Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street entities, and, renowned academics with great theoretical learning but mostly lacking relevant experience in banking, finance or trade. Danielle keeps repeating her own background in almost each chapter but other than the briefest commentary on some bosses and colleagues, shies away from any "revelatory" insights. The book has not added to any anything that is not already known about the Fed and how its "leaders" are selected/nominated and operate. Disappointed!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    Though the author occasionally comes across as a know-it-all with a chip on her shoulder, her arguments against the Fed's recent performance are compelling. Her insider knowledge of the organization is fascinating, and it adds an additional level of credibility to her criticisms. Her conclusions won't necessarily satisfy those in the Ron Paul/End-The-Fed camp (she argues for a strong central bank that is more focused on inflation management than unemployment and spending habits), but they will s Though the author occasionally comes across as a know-it-all with a chip on her shoulder, her arguments against the Fed's recent performance are compelling. Her insider knowledge of the organization is fascinating, and it adds an additional level of credibility to her criticisms. Her conclusions won't necessarily satisfy those in the Ron Paul/End-The-Fed camp (she argues for a strong central bank that is more focused on inflation management than unemployment and spending habits), but they will still cheer for her criticism of the recent Fed leadership and their Ivory Tower Keynesianism.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dan Cunningham

    Excellent history of the Federal Reserve, from someone who was working inside at the Dallas branch. Unfortunately, she reveals the central bank is staffed with highly intellectual arrogant people who are "clueless" about the real economy and the real world. Add her voice to the rising chorus of reformers who complain the Fed does more harm than good and is only in place to protect arrogant greedy elites from their never ending catastrophes from trying to engineer money from trading schemes instea Excellent history of the Federal Reserve, from someone who was working inside at the Dallas branch. Unfortunately, she reveals the central bank is staffed with highly intellectual arrogant people who are "clueless" about the real economy and the real world. Add her voice to the rising chorus of reformers who complain the Fed does more harm than good and is only in place to protect arrogant greedy elites from their never ending catastrophes from trying to engineer money from trading schemes instead of real production of goods and services.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Louk de Wilde

    The Fed: full of itself, but without the slightest success. Finally an insiders view clearly describing that the Fed system is in the interest of the big banks only where bunch of academic idiots is working. The book is full of insight how the Fed is not only a political institution, also from a point of view of careers and hierarchy, but full of academic myopian fools. Who are, in true Fed speak,by definition and always behind the curve. And who have systemstically proven themselves not being ab The Fed: full of itself, but without the slightest success. Finally an insiders view clearly describing that the Fed system is in the interest of the big banks only where bunch of academic idiots is working. The book is full of insight how the Fed is not only a political institution, also from a point of view of careers and hierarchy, but full of academic myopian fools. Who are, in true Fed speak,by definition and always behind the curve. And who have systemstically proven themselves not being able to predict the future of the US economy, but always state that predicting it is their true and exclusive expertise.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mitch Reaume

    Picked up this book to learn about the mystery of the Federal Reserve... a seemingly important and influential organization that I couldn’t have told you 2 things about. It’s well-written and impassioned by someone who sees the importance in what she’s talking about. But it is dry. It’s about the Fed, what do you expect? Readers wanting a 5,000 foot level could read the first 2 and last 2 chapters and probably retain as much as the person who reads it all.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nikhil

    Fed Up – Danielle DiMartino Booth For the financial markets enthusiasts, enough has been said and written about the run up to the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath. Commentators have firmed up their views on whether Greenspan was the greatest thing to happen to America or led it to the brink of disaster. And whether his successor Bernanke, by hitting the zero bound, gave up the last vestige of control that monetary policy had and climbed on a tiger that he couldn’t get off. Author Daniell Fed Up – Danielle DiMartino Booth For the financial markets enthusiasts, enough has been said and written about the run up to the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath. Commentators have firmed up their views on whether Greenspan was the greatest thing to happen to America or led it to the brink of disaster. And whether his successor Bernanke, by hitting the zero bound, gave up the last vestige of control that monetary policy had and climbed on a tiger that he couldn’t get off. Author Danielle Booth is clearly in the camp which thought that Greenspan was the father of the US housing crisis and the resultant global financial crisis, with his easy money policy. And Bernanke continued the good work of his predecessor and soon had lost touch with reality. So much so that the Fed’s decisions ignored the negative impact they had on the Main Street (as against the Wall Street). Danielle takes a rather aggressive stance against the Fed’s decision-making process and doesn’t mince words when she calls out Bernanke and later Yellen for their perceived lack of intellectual integrity. She claims that these two Fed Chiefs preferred to use wrong data so that they could continue on their predetermined path rather than be receptive to signals from the economy. She accuses them of politicking and bullying to get the rest of the voting members of the Fed Governors to fall in line. She also paints a rather sad picture of the economists within the Fed who, she believes, are too steeped in theoretical models and totally out of touch with the real world. Which is why, no one in the Fed had any understanding of the size of the shadow economy which had been created by Wall Street banks via a complex framework of entities. The book begins rather promisingly when it talks about the impact of the rate cuts on senior citizens, pensioners, and pension funds. And how it forces them to either take higher risks or exposes them at a stage in life when they are most vulnerable. For a while, one gets the feeling that the author will explore the impact of the Fed’s decisions in the run-up and aftermath of the GFC on the real economy. However, it soon gets lost in a chronological account of various Fed meetings and events interspersed with the happenings on Wall Street. An average book, overall, but worthwhile for getting an insight into the Fed before and after the GFC.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    DiMartino is smart as hell and experienced success in her days as a journalist, but that does not make her a good book author. Fed Up is readable but the cringe per chapter rate is too high to go on. That mainly manifests in the form in cliched thinking-aloud comments like, "a girl's gotta eat!" as if she's narrating her own TV show. The information is worthwhile, just keep in mind it will be difficult to pick it up as your eyes continuously roll as you read through. DiMartino is smart as hell and experienced success in her days as a journalist, but that does not make her a good book author. Fed Up is readable but the cringe per chapter rate is too high to go on. That mainly manifests in the form in cliched thinking-aloud comments like, "a girl's gotta eat!" as if she's narrating her own TV show. The information is worthwhile, just keep in mind it will be difficult to pick it up as your eyes continuously roll as you read through.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    It was a really well written book. I had thought by the title that it was a book on why the Fed should be dismantled but it just rehashed the financial collapse of 2008. Booth does a great job on showing how the Fed contributed to the collapse but was disappointed that it didn't get into why it shouldn't exist anymore. It was a really well written book. I had thought by the title that it was a book on why the Fed should be dismantled but it just rehashed the financial collapse of 2008. Booth does a great job on showing how the Fed contributed to the collapse but was disappointed that it didn't get into why it shouldn't exist anymore.

  25. 4 out of 5

    JR

    I won't profess that I fully understood everything in this book, but a truly detailed and amazing insiders look at what's been happening with the Fed. The author, who also read the audiobook, did an incredibly good job of making much of the intricacies and minutiae clear and understandable. Highly recommend. I won't profess that I fully understood everything in this book, but a truly detailed and amazing insiders look at what's been happening with the Fed. The author, who also read the audiobook, did an incredibly good job of making much of the intricacies and minutiae clear and understandable. Highly recommend.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike Parsons

    The Feds A great book on how the Feds work, their financial models that are out of date and do not work. How the Feds did not listen and could of possible prevented the 2008 recession. This book helped open my eyes to see how academics can have too much ego and be blinded by their short sightedness. Thank you Mrs. Booth for writing a book that an easy and understandable read!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    This was an intense read. And I was shocked by the insider view on a organization that has so much influence on our economy and yet most of us have little to no knowledge about. Insightful, eye opening, and at times terrifying. If you are willing to listen to/read breakdowns of complex financial terms and events I would recommend this.

  28. 5 out of 5

    James Cozzone

    Great Book on the Insides of the Fed and its Incompetence. Highly recommended book to understand the Fed and their inner workings, and their handling of the GFC. I would even say it is similar to Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big to Fail, but more honest in its criticism and also from a Fed point of view as oppose to the Treasury. Really enjoyed it. Great Book on the Insides of the Fed and its Incompetence. Highly recommended book to understand the Fed and their inner workings, and their handling of the GFC. I would even say it is similar to Andrew Ross Sorkin's Too Big to Fail, but more honest in its criticism and also from a Fed point of view as oppose to the Treasury. Really enjoyed it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert G Fosnot

    Eye-opening A readable story to explain how our country has been fooled into thinking we are economically safe. The arrogance and ignorance in our economic system is revealed as the house of cards it has become.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Ernst

    I never knew the fed was controlled by arrogant academic elitists types who never worked a day outside of academia in their lives. No wonder we continue to suffer from their bad decisions that have inflated asset bubbles and done little to help the working people.

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