In eight Tuesdays each year, Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan convenes a small committee to set the short-term interest rate that can move through the American and world economies like an electric jolt. As much as any, the committee’s actions determine the economic well-being of every American. The availability of money for business or consumer loans, mortgages, job creation and overall national economic growth flows from those decisions. Perhaps the last Washington secret is how the Federal Reserve and its enigmatic chairman, Alan Greenspan, operate.
In Maestro, Bob Woodward takes you inside the Fed and Greenspan’s thinking. We listen to the Fed’s internal debates as the American economy is pushed into a historic 10-year expansion while the world economy lurches from financial crisis to financial crisis. Greenspan plays a sometimes subtle, sometimes blunt behind-the-scenes role. Maestro traces a fascinating intellectual journey as Greenspan, an old-school anti-inflation hawk of the traditional economy, is among the first to realize the potential in the modern, high-productivity new economy. Woodward’s account of the Greenspan years is a remarkable portrait of a man who has become the symbol of American economic preeminence.
“Scrupulous and illuminating….Woodward lucidly explains the axes of intellectual and political disagreement over monetary policy…shedding new light on major conflicts of the Greenspan era.” -The New York Times Book Review
“Fascinating, intimate…the best inside job on the subject yet to appear.” -The Dallas Morning News
“A gripping ride through the oddly fragile and insecure world of big money and the curious mind of Greenspan.” -San Francisco Chronicle
“Admirably accomplishes what it sets out to do: demystify a Washington institution that is dimly understood by most Americans.” -USA Today
“Replete with the sort of fly-on-the-wall reporting for which Woodward is famous. What comes across most clearly is Greenspan’s skill at the political power games that determine who survives in the cutthroat world of Washington.” -BusinessWeek