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Inside the Fed: Making Monetary Policy


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dsc02047William C. Melton. Dow Jones-Irwin, USA 1985. Tapa Dura con sobrecubierta, 226 Págs. ISBN 0870945440. Estado: Muy Bueno, como nuevo.

William Melton has given us an excellent account of Fed policymaking. His book is written in an uncontrived, forthright, fast-paced, easy flowing style, and was a pleasure to read. After reading it, I knew that I had effortlessly acquired some new insights into the Fed and its conduct of monetary policy. The author’s contribution to the literature derives from his unusually rich experience—four years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a sometime academic, a Fed-watcher at a major New York bank, and now Vice President and Senior Economist at IDS/American Express. The book makes two major contributions. First, it describes and analyzes the interplay between practical and academic issues in the conduct of monetary policy. In particular, the author offers (particularly in Chapters 7 and 8 and in the Appendix) some fascinating insights into the interface between the Federal Reserve and the money markets. Second, the book conveys the Fed’s overriding concern for the safety and stability of the financial system. Four vignettes on Fed lender of last resort activities in recent crises illustrate that concern.

The book primarily focuses on domestic policy, but it does contain one chapter (Chapter 11) devoted to international issues. Several chapters describe, and bring the reader up-to-date on, changes in the structure and function of the Federal Reserve. The importance of U.S. financial history and the emphasis on regional interests explain the Fed’s cumbersome structure with its 12 unequal decentralized regional banks and the unifying tendencies of the Board, all of which culminate in the Federal Open Market Committee. The interplay between the Board and staff in formulating monetary policy, the limited role of the regional banks, and the execution of prescribed policies by the “Desk” in New York are effectively portrayed in Chapters 3, 7, and 8. (Gillian Garcia U.S. General Accounting Office)


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