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The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace Eric Rauchway pdf

Eric Rauchway pdf

Introduction

The Keynesian President and Us EARLY IN THE FALLof 2008, the telephone rang in my office in theDepartment of History at the University of California, Davis. The calleridentified himself as a senior officer in a major Wall Street bank. The bankerwanted to ask me what Franklin Roosevelt had done to fight the GreatDepression, how much his ideas had been influenced by the economics ofJohn Maynard Keynes, and how well his policies had worked. I said, sure,let’s talk—while thinking, if someone like you is calling someone like me totalk about something like that, we are all in really big trouble.I knew financiers were nervous. The bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, theconsequent failure of money-market funds, and the freezing of thecommercial paper markets had all made headlines. But I had no idea hownervous they were: I did not then know that the president of the FederalReserve Bank of New York, listening to a major banker sound shaky overthe phone, had told him not to make any more calls because “if anyone elsehears your voice, you’ll scare the shit out of them.”1And of course then-President George W. Bush, a firm believer thatgovernment should let private enterprise make its own decisions, had told usthat “government intervention is not only warranted, it’s essential”—but Idid not yet know that he feared that if he did not intervene now, there mightnot “be a free market left” to leave alone later…..

 

1- PROLOGUE

 

Shortly after arriving in the White House in early 1933, Franklin Roosevelt took the United States off the gold standard. His opponents thought his decision unwise at best, and ruinous at worst. But they could not have been more wrong.

With The Money Makers, Eric Rauchway tells the absorbing story of how FDR and his advisors pulled the levers of monetary policy to save the domestic economy and propel the United States to unprecedented prosperity and superpower status. Drawing on the ideas of the brilliant British economist John Maynard Keynes, among others, Roosevelt created the conditions for recovery from the Great Depression, deploying economic policy to fight the biggest threat then facing the nation: deflation.

Throughout the 1930s, he also had one eye on the increasingly dire situation in Europe. In order to defeat Hitler, Roosevelt turned again to monetary policy, sending dollars abroad to prop up the faltering economies of Britain and, beginning in 1941, the Soviet Union. FDR’s fight against economic depression and his fight against fascism were indistinguishable. As Rauchway writes, “Roosevelt wanted to ensure more than business recovery; he wanted to restore American economic and moral strength so the US could defend civilization itself.” The economic and military alliance he created proved unbeatable-and also provided the foundation for decades of postwar prosperity. Indeed, Rauchway argues that Roosevelt’s greatest legacy was his monetary policy. Even today, the “Roosevelt dollar” remains both the symbol and the catalyst of America’s vast economic power.

The Money Makers restores the Roosevelt dollar to its central place in our understanding of FDR, the New Deal, and the economic history of twentieth-century America. We forget this history at our own peril. In revealing the roots of our postwar prosperity, Rauchway shows how we can recapture the abundance of that period in our own.

 

Review Eric Rauchway pdf

 

Douglas Irwin, Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College
“If you think the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing after the Great Recession of 2009 was unusual and controversial, wait until you hear about what Franklin Roosevelt did in the 1930s. Eric Rauchway has given us a lucid and penetrating account of the monetary policies of the New Deal and how it helped to bring about economic recovery from the Great Depression.”

Brad DeLong, Professor of Economics, University of California, Berkeley
“Eric Rauchway’s The Money Makers is one of the very best books to read to understand our economy today. It tells the story of how Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the people who worked for him pragmatically—experimenting with institutional redesign, reinforcing success, dropping failure, focusing on what worked—refuted via action the ideologues of the left and the right who to this day condemn his New Deal as ineffective or destructive.”

Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
“Monetary policy got the United States into the Great Depression, but monetary policy also got it out. Eric Rauchway brings that tale alive by describing the adventures of two most unlikely monetary escape artists: Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John Maynard Keynes. The 1930s will never look the same.”

“Rauchway tells this important story with passion, intelligence and style….The Money Makers is economic and diplomatic history of the first order…. Anyone with even a passing interest in international economic affairs will benefit from reading this intelligent, timely and thoroughly accessible book.”―New York Times Book Review

“An excellent primer on Franklin Roosevelt’s economics.”―Economist

“Rauchway succinctly places [Bretton Woods] within its political and economic context…. A useful, readable companion to Ed Conway’s The Summit.”―Library Journal

“Rauchway’s thoughtful, well-researched narrative history is a valuable contribution to economic history, with ample lessons for the current era.”―Publishers Weekly

“A compelling examination of a still-vilified monetary policy that has continued to show results in spite of conservative criticism.”―Kirkus

 

About the Author

 

Eric Rauchway is a historian at the University of California, Davis, and the author of numerous books on the Progressive and New Deal eras. He has written for the American Prospect, the Financial Times, and other publications, and lives in Davis, California.

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