Secrets of the Temple

Demystifying the Fed

In William Greider’s famous book, The Secrets of the Temple, the Fed is described as a mysterious—almost religious—institution: “The governors of the Federal Reserve decided the largest of questions of the political economy, including who shall prosper and who shall fail, yet their role remained opaque and mysterious.”1 While this was partly true when the book was published in 1987, today there are no secrets, and the core principals can be explained in a few pages. So let’s take a look at how the Fed manages the economy. Let’s explore the Fed’s complicated decision structure, how changes in the interest ...

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