A History of the Federal Reserve
A Conversation between Paul Volcker and Allan H. Meltzer
About This Event

As the Federal Reserve continues to take steps to boost the economy and navigate through an uncertain economic future, Allan H. Meltzer's acclaimed history of the Federal Reserve uses the past to provide lessons for today’s policymakers and scholars. At this event, Meltzer will participate in a discussion of his book A History of the Federal Reserve, 1913–1986 (University of Chicago Press, 2010) with Paul Volcker, former chairman of the Federal Reserve under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. AEI economist and former Federal Reserve official Vincent R. Reinhart will moderate.


8:45 a.m.

ALLAN H. MELTZER, AEI and Carnegie Mellon University



Speaker biographies

Paul Volcker was chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1979 to 1987. Initially appointed to that position by President Carter for a four-year term, he was reappointed in 1983 by President Reagan. Over the course of his career, Mr. Volcker worked in the federal government for almost thirty years, under five presidents--John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and Ronald Reagan. Before his appointment as chairman of the Board of Governors, Mr. Volcker spent more than four years as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He returned to private life in 1987 by joining the firm of James D. Wolfensohn & Company Inc. as chairman, until his retirement in 1996. He is currently director of, or consultant to, a number of corporations and nonprofit organizations and heads President Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Allan H. Meltzer is a visiting scholar at AEI and the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of History of the Federal Reserve, Volumes I and II (University of Chicago Press, 2002 and 2010), a definitive research work on the Federal Reserve System. He has been a member of the President's Economic Policy Advisory Board, an acting member of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and a consultant to the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. In 1999 and 2000, he served as chairman of the International Financial Institution Advisory Commission, which was appointed by Congress to review the role of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and other institutions. The author of several books and numerous papers on economic theory and policy, Mr. Meltzer is also a founder of the Shadow Open Market Committee.

Vincent R. Reinhart is a resident scholar at AEI. He is a former director of the Federal Reserve Board's Division of Monetary Affairs, and has spent more than two decades working on domestic and international aspects of U.S. monetary policy. He has held a number of senior positions in the Division of Monetary Affairs and the Division of International Finance and served for the last six years of his Federal Reserve career as secretary and economist of the Federal Open Market Committee. Mr. Reinhart worked on topics as varied as economic bubbles and the conduct of monetary policy, auctions of U.S. Treasury securities, alternative strategies for monetary policy, and the efficient communication of monetary policy decisions.

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