Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bernanke's college lecture series

link to 1rst lecture
link to 2nd lecture

The PowerPoints for these lectures will eventually be available at the following link:

Link to Fed Board of Governors' web page on lecture series

A brief summary of this lecture can be found in the following articles (and many others)

WSJ (2-21-2012 Bernanke Goes Back to School by JON HILSENRATH and KRISTINA PETERSON


Washington Post (3-21-2012) Bernanke revisits college delivering first of 4 lectures on Federal Reserve at GW University

Despite having read quite a few books and articles about the Fed, I still learned something from Bernanke's lecture. Bernanke, after all, was an academic master of the economic history of the Great Depression and the Fed before assuming his current role as Chairman of the Fed. One tidbit that I learned was why Walter Bagehot (1826-1877) merits having a standing column in the Economist magazine named after him. In addition to an early being editor-in-chief of the magazine, Bagehot was one of the first to analyze and write about the benefits of a central bank. I also finally learned how to pronounce his name; it sounds like badge-it.

Class, your challenges are:
1. list the advantages of a central bank outlined by Bagehot.
2. list three reasons Bernanke is not in favor of a gold standard. He gave MANY reasons.

What do you think about the gold standard, and why do you think it periodically pops up in politicians' wish lists?

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