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All books  Business, Finance & Law
 
Title:  America's Bank: The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve
Binding:  Hardcover
Author:   Roger Lowenstein
Publisher: Penguin Press
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1594205493
ISBN-13: 9781594205491

Product Dimensions: 
6.4 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
Category(ies) :  Business, Finance & Law
Shipping weights: 
Price: RMB300.00
Reading level : 
BookDescription


Synosis
A tour de force of historical reportage, America’s Bank illuminates the tumultuous era and remarkable personalities that spurred the unlikely birth of America’s modern central bank, the Federal Reserve. Today, the Fed is the bedrock of the financial landscape, yet the fight to create it was so protracted and divisive that it seems a small miracle that it was ever established. 

For nearly a century, America, alone among developed nations, refused to consider any central or organizing agency in its financial system. Americans’ mistrust of big government and of big banks—a legacy of the country’s Jeffersonian, small-government traditions—was so widespread that modernizing reform was deemed impossible. Each bank was left to stand on its own, with no central reserve or lender of last resort. The real-world consequences of this chaotic and provincial system were frequent financial panics, bank runs, money shortages, and depressions. By the first decade of the twentieth century, it had become plain that the outmoded banking system was ill equipped to finance America’s burgeoning industry. But political will for reform was lacking. It took an economic meltdown, a high-level tour of Europe, and—improbably—a conspiratorial effort by vilified captains of Wall Street to overcome popular resistance. Finally, in 1913, Congress conceived a federalist and quintessentially American solution to the conflict that had divided bankers, farmers, populists, and ordinary Americans, and enacted the landmark Federal Reserve Act.

Roger Lowenstein—acclaimed financial journalist and bestselling author of When Genius Failed and The End of Wall Street—tells the drama-laden story of how America created the Federal Reserve, thereby taking its first steps onto the world stage as a global financial power.America’s Bank showcases Lowenstein at his very finest: illuminating complex financial and political issues with striking clarity, infusing the debates of our past with all the gripping immediacy of today, and painting unforgettable portraits of Gilded Age bankers, presidents, and politicians.

Lowenstein focuses on the four men at the heart of the struggle to create the Federal Reserve. These were Paul Warburg, a refined, German-born financier, recently relocated to New York, who was horrified by the primitive condition of America’s finances; Rhode Island’s Nelson W. Aldrich, the reigning power broker in the U.S. Senate and an archetypal Gilded Age legislator; Carter Glass, the ambitious, if then little-known, Virginia congressman who chaired the House Banking Committee at a crucial moment of political transition; and President Woodrow Wilson, the academician-turned-progressive-politician who forced Glass to reconcile his deep-seated differences with bankers and accept the principle (anathema to southern Democrats) of federal control. Weaving together a raucous era in American politics with a storied financial crisis and intrigue at the highest levels of Washington and Wall Street, Lowenstein brings the beginnings of one of the country’s most crucial institutions to vivid and unforgettable life. Readers of this gripping historical narrative will wonder whether they’re reading about one hundred years ago or the still-seething conflicts that mark our discussions of banking and politics today. 


Publisher Comments
“As Roger Lowenstein tells it in ‘America’s Bank,’ an illuminating history of the Fed’s unlikely origin story, the central bank represented an ambitious — and not entirely successful — effort to resolve several long-standing tensions that lay at the heart of the American experiment in self-government: East Coast vs. the interior, urban sensibilities vs. rural ones, mercantile vs. agrarian interests, Wall Street vs. Main Street. It is still working out the kinks.”—Washington Post 

“The fun of the book — and its enduring value — lies in the rich details about the cranks, pawns and prophets who jousted with one another in the days of Teddy Roosevelt, William Taft and Woodrow Wilson.” – Forbes

“Roger Lowenstein tells, vividly and compellingly,…the remarkable tale of the politics, disagreements, decisions and crises that culminated in the Federal Reserve Act…But Lowenstein, the author of several works on economics and finance, builds off it to describe the history of the era, the rise of the Progressive movement, the compromises and machinations that were critical to Congressional passage and the key figures in the drama of creating the Federal Reserve System.”—Robert Rubin, New York Times Book Review


“Depicting the effort to create a central bank, Fortune contributor Lowenstein tells a gripping tale with a trove of vivid characters and period details; you can almost see the handlebar mustaches and smell the oyster stuffing. And the broader cultural conflicts he describes—-distrust of centralized authority, tension between Main Street and Wall Street—are just as relevant now as they were in the era of Taft, Teddy, and Woodrow Wilson.” – Fortune Magazine


About the Author
ROGER LOWENSTEIN reported for The Wall Street Journal for more than a decade. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg , The New York Review of Books, Fortune, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications. His books include Buffett, When Genius Failed, Origins of the Crash, While America Aged, and The End of Wall Street. He has three children and lives with his wife in Newton, Massachusetts.

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