The Courage to Act by Ben S. Bernanke
A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath

60%

5 Critic Reviews

This is an excellent approach for a Fed chairman, but somewhat less desirable in a memoirist...what good is transparency if almost everybody is looking the other way?
-NY Times

Synopsis

A New York Times Bestseller



An unrivaled look at the fight to save the American economy.


In 2006, Ben S. Bernanke was appointed chair of the Federal Reserve, the unexpected apex of a personal journey from small-town South Carolina to prestigious academic appointments and finally public service in Washington’s halls of power.


There would be no time to celebrate.


The bursting of a housing bubble in 2007 exposed the hidden vulnerabilities of the global financial system, bringing it to the brink of meltdown. From the implosion of the investment bank Bear Stearns to the unprecedented bailout of insurance giant AIG, efforts to arrest the financial contagion consumed Bernanke and his team at the Fed. Around the clock, they fought the crisis with every tool at their disposal to keep the United States and world economies afloat.


Working with two U.S. presidents, and under fire from a fractious Congress and a public incensed by behavior on Wall Street, the Fed—alongside colleagues in the Treasury Department—successfully stabilized a teetering financial system. With creativity and decisiveness, they prevented an economic collapse of unimaginable scale and went on to craft the unorthodox programs that would help revive the U.S. economy and become the model for other countries.


Rich with detail of the decision-making process in Washington and indelible portraits of the major players, The Courage to Act recounts and explains the worst financial crisis and economic slump in America since the Great Depression, providing an insider’s account of the policy response.

 

About Ben S. Bernanke

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Ben S. Bernanke is chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve. He has served as chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisors and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Before his time in public service he was a professor of economics at Princeton University. His many books include "Essays on the Great Depression" and "Inflation Targeting" (both Princeton).
 
Published October 5, 2015 by W. W. Norton & Company. 624 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, History. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 25 2015
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Courage to Act
All: 5 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 2

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Dec 20 2015

Written in clear, accessible prose, Bernanke's memoir demystifies central banking and high finance with admirable lucidity; it makes an indispensable guide to the 2008 upheaval and the controversial measures that quelled it.

Read Full Review of The Courage to Act: A Memoir ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Michael Kinsley on Oct 08 2015

This is an excellent approach for a Fed chairman, but somewhat less desirable in a memoirist...what good is transparency if almost everybody is looking the other way?

Read Full Review of The Courage to Act: A Memoir ... | See more reviews from NY Times

The Independent

Above average
Reviewed by HAMISH MCRAE on Nov 05 2015

That is not a bad assessment of Bernanke's role, and we should be most grateful for this honest account of it. Maybe courage is the right word after all.

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London School of Economics

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Verkhivker on Nov 15 2015

In navigating America’s central bank through two presidencies over two terms as chairman, Bernanke elicits admiration for his efforts and sympathy for his shortcomings in this memoir, reminding readers that, ultimately, his mission and wishes at the helm of the Federal Reserve were to best serve the American people.

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Columbia Daily Tribune

Below average
Reviewed by ANAT ADMATI Bloomberg on Oct 17 2015

Bernanke deserves a great deal of credit for helping prevent a collapse of the U.S. financial system. But in his book he is too sanguine about the progress regulators have made.

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