In Depth: Federal Reserve

New York Stock Exchange Photo: The New York Stock Exchange, an institution whose members are focused on the words and inclinations of new Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, '79 MIT Economics PhD. AP Photo

January 2006

Ben Bernanke, '79 MIT Economics PhD, is cast in the daunting role of successor to Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve. After 18 years at the Fed helm, Greenspan retires as perhaps the greatest central banker ever. Monetary maestro, inflation fighter, oracle, whatever the moniker, the celebrated Greenspan had a steadying influence on the U.S. economy.

A former Fed governor, Bernanke has said he will continue Greenspan's battle against inflation. But few expect the even–tempered MIT alum to idle in Greenspan's shadow. He's expected to adopt the practice of “inflation targeting” and to institute more transparent communications from the Fed.

  • Alan Greenspan: Legacy as inflation fighter, monetary maestro
    Given Alan Greenspan's famously circumspect rhetorical style, we may never know the inspiration behind the greatest central banker ever. What is known, according to reputable sources, is that the legendary inflation fighter and monetary maestro studied the clarinet at Julliard, drafts his speeches in longhand, and does most of his work in the bathtub. More >>
  • Fight against inflation: Markets, public await Bernanke's brand of battle
    Standing shoulder to shoulder with his legendary predecessor Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, '79 MIT Economics PhD, told the Senate Banking Committee in November that, if confirmed, his first priority would be to “maintain continuity with the policies and strategies established during the Greenspan years.” While his goals might be in sync with Greenspan's, Bernanke's methods will likely differ. More >>
  • Ben Bernanke: New chairman hailed as great communicator
    If the reaction of financial markets is any indication, the appointment of Ben Bernanke, '79 MIT Economics PhD, is good news for the economy. Stocks rallied as news spread of his nomination to succeed Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve — a phenomenon caused in large part by Bernanke's reputation for being tough on inflation. More >>
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    Links to articles, audio, and resources related to Alan Greenspan's legacy and the future of the Federal Reserve under new Chairman Ben Bernanke, '79 MIT Economics PhD. More >>