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America's Bank

The Epic Struggle to Create the Federal Reserve
Auteur(s): Roger Lowenstein
Narrateur(s): Robertson Dean
Durée: 9 h et 39 min
Catégories: Histoire, Amériques
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 évaluations)

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Description

The tumultuous era and remarkable personalities that unexpectedly birthed the Federal Reserve, from renowned financial writer Roger Lowenstein

Until the election of Woodrow Wilson the United States - alone among developed nations - lacked a central bank. Ever since the Revolutionary War, Americans had desperately feared the consequences of centralizing the nation's finances under government control. However, in the aftermath of a disastrous financial panic, Congress was persuaded - by a confluence of populist unrest, widespread mistrust of bankers, ideological divisions, and secretive lobbying - to approve the landmark 1913 Federal Reserve Act.

Writing in a rich and untapped historical vein, Roger Lowenstein - acclaimed financial journalist and best-selling author of When Genius Failed and The End of Wall Street - reveals the drama-filled, unlikely story of how America created the Federal Reserve, thereby taking its first steps onto the world stage as a global financial power. America's Bank showcases Lowenstein at his very finest: illuminating complex financial and political issues with striking clarity, infusing the debates of our past with all the gripping immediacy of today, and painting unforgettable portraits of Gilded Age bankers, presidents, and politicians.

With America's Bank, Lowenstein focuses on the four men at the heart of the drama to create the Federal Reserve. These are Paul Warburg, a refined, German-born financier, recently relocated to New York, who was horrified at America's primitive finances; Rhode Island's Nelson W. Aldrich, the reigning power broker in the US Senate and an archetypal Gilded Age legislator; Carter Glass, the ambitious but little-known Virginia congressman who chaired the House Banking and Currency Committee at a crucial moment of political transition; and, of course, President Woodrow Wilson....

©2015 Roger Lowenstein (P)2015 Penguin Audio

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Au global

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars

Definitely keynsian propaganda, but worth a read!

This book is heavily leaning towards pro-Keynsian pro-central bank propaganda, but it's a very good read to hear about the history of how the Federal Reserve came to be.

I'm a bitcoiner, so I'm very interested in economics, money and the history of money.

I've read a lot of political financial books like Currency Wars, a lot of trading books, etc.

Many people don't know that the Federal Reserve is a private bank. It's not part of the US government, and US dollars are not backed by gold.

I wanted to learn the history of how the Federal Reserve came to be.

This is the political story of money in America after the civil war up to when the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was signed.

I don't agree with everything in the book, but if you're interested in the history of money, it's a must read.

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jean
  • 2015-11-02

Important and Intriguing

I heard Lowenstein on the New York Times book review podcast and it sounded interesting. I had just finished “Courage to Act” by Ben S. Bernanke and this book seem to fit right into the topic.

The book starts in 1787 and follows the topic of the need for a Federal Bank. Alexander Hamilton fought for a central bank but many opposed a strong federal government. Lowenstein goes into detail about President Wilson and his fight for the Federal Reserve and how they passed the “Federal Reserve Act of 1913.”

This is a story of politics, disagreements, decisions, including crises that culminated in the Federal Reserve Act. Lowenstein’s account of the financial crises before the establishment of the Fed powerfully demonstrates that it is imperative for the Federal Reserve System to maintain its effectiveness and independence from politics. The author gives us striking portraits of key figures well known and unknown, involved in the creation of the central bank.
The book is well written and well researched. The author writes in an engaging manner that makes dry material interesting.

There are currently a number of reforms being proposed in Congress that would undermine the effectiveness and independence of the Federal Reserve. This is a must read book to fully understand the history and all the issues involved, so one can understand the critical nature of the proposed changes to the Federal Reserve Act. Robertson Dean did a good job narrating the book. The book was not too long at nine and half hours.

15 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Pablo
  • 2016-01-05

A good account, but easy on the "epic"

A good account of a part of US and world financial history that I didn't know well. Good portraits of Aldridge, Warburg, Andrew, Davidson, Glass, Untermeier, Wilson. A little weaker on Strong and McAdoo, but then again they became more prominent later. Recommendable.

But easy on the Lowenstein-esque attempts at drama. This was a historic bill, no doubt, and there were odds against it, but exaggeration can become hard to bear.

3 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marianne
  • 2015-12-06

Fascinating

What did you love best about America's Bank?

A riveting account of an important institution

What was one of the most memorable moments of America's Bank?

jeykell Island

Which character – as performed by Robertson Dean – was your favorite?

Warburg

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, too much information

Any additional comments?

The history of the Federal reserve shows that America is stilling having the arguments it had in the days of its founding. Nothing has changed.

3 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Philo
  • 2015-11-01

Just technical and just popular enough

I think Roger Lowenstein has done us a great service with this sober telling of the story. This is one of those segments of history that is complex enough to allow its exploitation by all sorts of crackpots who cherry-pick the story, and until now it has been difficult to respond, due to the lack of a reasonably popular-level book walking through it all. I found the detail, length and editing just right. This book also features brief descriptions of various Fed operations that are understandable. By comparison, I read 'Act of Congress' by Robert G. Kaiser about the Dodd-Frank legislation, and found the latter plodding and not illuminating the personalities or deeper concepts or surrounding history nearly as well as this book does. This book clearly and briskly lights up important events from the Civil War to the 1930s, though it definitely focuses on the first 15 years of the 20th century. And at last Paul Warburg gets his due! I felt here as if I was at the side of many of the characters at their most critical moments, from the conception of the law through its emergence in all the shifting politics of the era. I am astounded that any reasonable legislation comes out of Congress at all, then or now, given the tugging personalities, but stepping back, that is often "a feature, not a bug." There is a fine portrayal of Woodrow Wilson also, and his times. I generally like Robertson Dean as a narrator, but here, I thought his style was a bit flat, meshing with this particular book. But it was certainly competent and acceptable.

7 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew R Clay
  • 2015-11-24

Epic

An epic. Thing that can make history of banking law interesting and readable is pretty amazing.

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Orhan
  • 2015-10-25

It works

Who was your favorite character and why?

There is no character you morons!!!!!!!!!!

What three words best describe Robertson Dean’s voice?

Boring, wish that Roger Lowenstein would have been the narrator

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Would make a dull movie

Any additional comments?

Good material, explained and presented well. Stressed the political motivations a little too much in my opinion

5 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Snow Packed Reviews
  • 2016-06-10

Just wow!

This has the information of a textbook but reads like a novel. I could not put it down and was hooked from the first chapter. It was great hearing all the personality quirks and ambitions of America's elite 100 years ago and it helps better understand the history of our national psyche.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • jeffrey M goldfarb
  • 2016-05-22

Living history

Just finished
Loved it
Puts history and modern times into perspective
If you are interested in America, read this book

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    4 out of 5 stars
  • StonewallChuck
  • 2019-02-02

Important Story for Americans to Know

Substance/Main Positives
This book is the story of why and how the Federal Reserve came to be. This story is an important one for Americans to have some familiarity with because it lays the groundwork for understanding why our banking system is structured the way it is today (February 2019). Probably not a "must read" because I suspect there are other equally good (or better) books on the topic, but certainly every American who has any interest in why banking is the way it is in America (or anyone who thinks they have a better idea for how it should be) ought to read this book or one that tells the same story.

Drawbacks
The reader is deep-voiced and seems to be forcing an ominous tone much of the time. I understand this may be by design to "go along" with the subject matter, but it just seemed somewhat overdone, and I am not sure the story is really all that ominous. The delivery should be more positive, because after all, the characters struggling "to create the Federal Reserve" (see sub-title) were all striving for legitimately positive reform of the banking system, though some characters went about it in a more conspiratorial way.

Conclusion/Author's Bias
Mr. Lowenstein's bias is not crystal clear to me (maybe that speaks well of his authorship), but the book does present the Federal Reserve as basically good and necessary for America to be the great nation it has been throughout the 20th century. I am not sure I can disagree with that.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KathrynVB
  • 2019-01-18

Essential reading to understand the Fed

I had heard so much about the various conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve Bank that I purchased this book from audible.com. Very worthwhile investment of a credit and my listening time. You may disagree with many views of the author, as there are so many competing interests involved, but it is a good history for those who have wondered, like I did, about its initial founding and purpose.