Liberty Street Economics

« | Main | »

March 30, 2012

Just Released: Chairman Bernanke Returns to His Academic Roots, Part 2

Argia M. Sbordone

This week, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke completed his four-lecture series for undergraduate students at the George Washington School of Business in Washington, D.C. The lectures have been part of the Chairman’s ongoing effort to educate the public about the Federal Reserve and the role it played during the recent financial crisis. Building upon last week’s broad overview of the origin and mission of central banks and the lessons learned from previous financial crises, this week’s lectures—presented on March 27 and 29—centered on the financial crisis that emerged in 2007. The Chairman discussed the build-up of the crisis and the actions taken by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to address the financial crisis and the ensuing recession.

    The March 27 lecture focused on the Federal Reserve’s role as lender of last resort. After reviewing the crisis in the mortgage markets and the resulting financial panic, the Chairman turned to a discussion of the actions taken by the Fed, placing the U.S. central bank’s response in the context of a global effort to support key financial markets and institutions. The Chairman explained how the Fed’s aggressive provision of liquidity and initiatives to sustain critical financial institutions succeeded in containing the financial crisis, likely averting a second Great Depression.

    Third lecture:   Video   Slides

    In the fourth and final lecture, the Chairman examined the aftermath of the financial crisis. He discussed the conventional and unconventional tools used by policymakers to respond to the recession and reviewed the steps the Fed has taken to enhance communication with the public about its policy actions and strategy. Chairman Bernanke then considered how the lingering effects of the financial crisis are inhibiting a faster recovery from the recession. He concluded by discussing the changes in financial regulation that followed the crisis and the implications of the crisis for central bank practice.

    Fourth lecture:   Video   Slides

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author.

About the Blog

Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

The editors are Michael Fleming, Andrew Haughwout, Thomas Klitgaard, and Asani Sarkar, all economists in the Bank’s Research Group.

Liberty Street Economics does not publish new posts during the blackout periods surrounding Federal Open Market Committee meetings.

The views expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the New York Fed or the Federal Reserve System.

Economic Research Tracker

Image of NYFED Economic Research Tracker Icon Liberty Street Economics is available on the iPhone® and iPad® and can be customized by economic research topic or economist.

Economic Inequality

image of inequality icons for the Economic Inequality: A Research Series

This ongoing Liberty Street Economics series analyzes disparities in economic and policy outcomes by race, gender, age, region, income, and other factors.

Most Read this Year

Comment Guidelines


We encourage your comments and queries on our posts and will publish them (below the post) subject to the following guidelines:

Please be brief: Comments are limited to 1,500 characters.

Please be aware: Comments submitted shortly before or during the FOMC blackout may not be published until after the blackout.

Please be relevant: Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been reviewed to ensure that they are substantive and clearly related to the topic of the post.

Please be respectful: We reserve the right not to post any comment, and will not post comments that are abusive, harassing, obscene, or commercial in nature. No notice will be given regarding whether a submission will or will
not be posted.‎

Comments with links: Please do not include any links in your comment, even if you feel the links will contribute to the discussion. Comments with links will not be posted.

Send Us Feedback

Disclosure Policy

The LSE editors ask authors submitting a post to the blog to confirm that they have no conflicts of interest as defined by the American Economic Association in its Disclosure Policy. If an author has sources of financial support or other interests that could be perceived as influencing the research presented in the post, we disclose that fact in a statement prepared by the author and appended to the author information at the end of the post. If the author has no such interests to disclose, no statement is provided. Note, however, that we do indicate in all cases if a data vendor or other party has a right to review a post.