Discussion: Economics for Activist
We will discuss the first ten chapters of William Greider’s classic Secrets of the Temple. This comprehensive 1987 history of the Federal Reserve is essential background reading for understanding the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, the Occupy movement, “Quantitative Easing”, and how to respond to today’s politics of austerity and pension theft.
The first ten chapters are 348 pages. Greider’s clear and exciting prose makes it a fast read. This section of the book discusses the basic functioning of the Federal Reserve; the 1979 appointment of Paul Volcker; the history of populism and how it was defeated by creation of the Fed in 1913; and the functioning of the Fed in the Keynsian New Deal era. This is all an important foundation for understanding the role of the Fed in the neoliberal Reagan years and up to today.