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Learning about Policy from Federal Reserve History

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journal contribution
posted on 01.04.2013 by Allan Meltzer

For much of the past fifteen years, my assistants and I have been reading minutes and papers in the National Archives, the Board of Governors and the New York Federal Reserve Bank. I owe a debt of appreciation to the Board’s librarians; to the archivists at the New York bank, to my several assistants, and to many at the Fed who cooperated helpfully to make this project come to completion. The result soon will be published in three volumes of more than 2000 pages. Volume 1 has been in print for five years.

Today, I will discuss some principal findings from volume 2, Federal Reserve history from 1951 to 1986. The starting point is the 1951 Accord with the Treasury that permitted the long-term interest rate to rise above 2.5 percent. The end is the date I chose for the end of the Great Inflation.