The Quiet Revolution

Central Banking Goes Modern

Alan S. Blinder; Foreword by Robert J. Shiller

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Although little noticed, the face of central banking has changed significantly over the past ten to fifteen years, says the author of this enlightening book. Alan S. Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System and member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, shows that the changes, though quiet, have been sufficiently profound to constitute a revolution in central banking.

Blinder considers three of the most significant aspects of the revolution. The first is the shift toward transparency: whereas central bankers once believed in secrecy and even mystery, greater openness is now considered a virtue. The second is the transition from monetary policy decisions made by single individuals to decisions made by committees. The third change is a profoundly different attitude toward the markets, from that of stern schoolmarm to one of listener. With keenness and balance, the author examines the origins of these changes and their pros and cons.

Alan S. Blinder is Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial Professor of Economics, Princeton University. He is also partner, Promontory Financial Group, and vice chairman, The G7 Group.

"Alan Blinder, who served as Vice Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board before returning to academic life, has given us insight into central banking from a unique position. His analysis and observations merit the attention of all of those who either monitor or are involved in the policy decisions of the Fed."—Henry Kaufman, author of On Money and Markets

“Professor Blinder’s efforts to advance the cause of good monetary policy have led to new insights about the achievement of the ultimate objectives of monetary policy. This book will be remembered as an important treatise on the practice of central banking.”—Robert J. Shiller 

ISBN: 9780300100877
Publication Date: March 11, 2004
144 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
6 line figures