Published as a stand-alone paperback in 1965, The Great Contraction, 1929-1933 argued that the Federal Reserve could have stemmed the severity of the Depression, but failed to exercise its role of managing the monetary system and ameliorating banking panics. The book served as a clarion call to the monetarist school of thought by emphasizing the importance of the money supply in the functioning of the economy--a concept that has come to inform the actions of central banks worldwide.
This edition of the original text includes a new preface by Anna Jacobson Schwartz, as well as a new introduction by the economist Peter Bernstein. It also includes comments from the current Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, originally made on the occasion of Milton Friedman's 90th birthday, on the enduring influence of Friedman and Schwartz's work and vision.
©2008 Milton Friedman; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
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"Very factual, but not exactly a page turner!"
No. It is good for what it is. It could be made more interesting by adding contemporary comparisons, but this would make the book lose its relevance over time.
No, no chance!
Comparisons to competing Economic theories and practitioners would be interesting too.
"Had to Stop Listening"
This book may be great for one economist to understand another. My problem is that I'm not coming from the perspective of a 4th year economics major. The terms and tone are not for the lay person trying to understand general economic principles.
I was hoping for something more in line with
"Surprising, but dry."
I was pleased to see that Milton Friedman was not as doctrinaire as some that have followed him. I particularly appreciate many of his arguments in favor of Fed intervention. The follow on piece by Ben Bernanke was good to clarify, or reinforce, arguments made in this book. I know his focus was on Monetary policy, but I missed something about the conditions which might have contributed to many of the phenomenon he wrote about. It seems to be things like bank failures were as much about overall economic conditions as they were about poor policy choices. Interesting, but dry, and filled with jargon.
"A different explanation for the Great Depression."
Yes. I tend to fall asleep reading a complicated book.
It was very sad to realize how much hardship for so many was caused by misguided government policies!
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