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Chairman of the Fed [electronic resource] : William McChesney Martin, Jr., and the creation of the modern American financial system /
Robert P. Bremner.
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2004.
description
vi, 357 p. : ill.
ISBN
0300105088 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
New Haven : Yale University Press, c2004.
isbn
0300105088 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
11947868
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 309-344) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2004-11-01:
This richly detailed, fascinating history of a professional life virtually defines a bygone ideal of public service. When Martin was appointed to the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System by President Harry Truman in 1951, the Fed had lost much of its credibility, says former World Bank executive Bremner. Martin, a self-effacing but strong-willed manager who had introduced long-needed reforms at the New York Stock Exchange between 1938 and 1941, appreciated that the Fed's effectiveness depended crucially on gaining White House and congressional allies, on boosting the professional level of research and on regaining the confidence of the banking industry. Through meticulous research deftly presented, Bremner shows that Martin's persistence, calm and forthrightness gained new respect for the Fed; his dogged efforts over nearly 20 years re-established a central role for monetary policy in U.S. economic planning. Despite being a dedicated inflation fighter throughout his tenure (his motto was: "A sound currency is coined freedom"), a disastrously disruptive, Vietnam-related inflation he had long forecast was on the horizon at the time he retired in 1970. If Martin thus felt a sense of failure as he left the Fed, Bremner's book justly celebrates the invaluable, long-lasting effects of his overarching plan to establish the Fed's function in coordinated economic policy making. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Choice on 2005-05-01:
One of the most recognizable names in America is probably Alan Greenspan, chair of the Federal Reserve System. Yet, the man who did most to create and define the position of Federal Reserve chair is little remembered today. In this exceptionally well written volume, Bremmer traces the career of William McChesney Martin Jr. (1906-98), who took over as the chair of the Federal Reserve in 1951, when it had finally been realized that the system needed to operate independently of the executive branch. Founded in 1913, the system had operated as a weak, decentralized central bank and had been ineffective in helping to mitigate the Depression. Martin, who had served as the first president of the New York Stock Exchange, was called in by Harry Truman to help with monetary policy, and as it turned out, Martin would end up serving as the first chair of the independent Fed. From then until his retirement in 1970, he was a lion of American economic policy, working to overcome market speculators, politicians who often did not respect the need for an independent central bank. Based on extensive archival work, this biography of Martin reveals a career of public service rarely matched in American history. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All collections. B. W. Bateman Grinnell College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Creation of the modern Federal Reserve System is, to a very considerable extent, the work of William McChesney Martin, Jr. Robert Bremner's book brings out the character, conviction, courage, and collegiality that Martin brought to this historic achievement." -Allan H Meltzer, author of A History of the Federal Reserve and Professor of Political Economy, Carnegie Mellon University
"Whatever your definition of a 'great american,' Bill Martin meets it. He passed effortlessly from floor broker on the NYSE to its first professional paid president, became the only Wall Streeter to enter the Army as a private in World War II, [helped] negotiate the end of lend lease with Russia, created while Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, the document that established the independence of the Federal Reserve System, then served 18 years as the Fed's Chairman, playing tennis just about every day. A one-of-a-kind narrative." Martin Mayer, author of The Fed: The Inside Story of How the World's Most Powerful Financial Institution Drives the Markets
This item was reviewed in:
Boston Globe, November 2004
Publishers Weekly, November 2004
Choice, May 2005
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
William McChesney Martin Jr. was the first paid president of the New York Stock Exchange & the chairman of the Federal Reserve System under five presidents, from Truman to Nixon. This book looks at his life & at the lasting influence he exerted on the course of American economic history.
Main Description
This is the first biography of William McChesney Martin, Jr. (1906-1998), the first paid president of the New York Stock Exchange and the chairman of the Federal Reserve System under Presidents Truman to Nixon. The extent of Martin's influence on the course of American economic history was significant: arguably he has done more to strengthen and reform the nation's most important financial institutions than has any other individual. Chairman of the Fed tells Martin's fascinating life story and explains his lasting impact on the NYSE and the Fed, both troubled institutions that Martin transformed. The book provides an inside look into the economic deliberations of five presidential administrations and describes Martin's battles to bring about ethical and intelligent regulation of U.S. financial markets. His experiences shed light not only on the evolution of the American financial system but also on critical issues that confront the system today.
Main Description
This is the first biography of William McChesney Martin, Jr. (1906-1998), the first paid president of the New York Stock Exchange and the chairman of the Federal Reserve System under Presidents Truman to Nixon. The extent of Martin's influence on the course of American economic history was significant: arguably he has done more to strengthen and reform the nation's most important financial institutions than has any other individual. Chairman of the Fed tellsMartin's fascinating life story and explains his lasting impact on the NYSE and the Fed, both troubled institutions that Martin transformed. The book provides an inside look into the economic deliberations of five presidential administrations and describes Martin's battles to bring about ethical and intelligent regulation of U.S. financial markets. His experiences shed light not only on the evolution of the American financial system but also on critical issues that confront the system today.
Short Annotation
This is the first biography of William McChesney Martin, Jr. (1906-1998), the first paid president of the New York Stock Exchange and the chairman of the Federal Reserve System under Presidents Truman to Nixon.

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