Former Fed chair Ben Bernanke plans to publish a memoir

Ben Bernanke is planning a memoir
Former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke is planning to publish a memoir.
(Karen Bleier / AFP/Getty Images)

After eight years at the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke might have been ready for a vacation. But it’s been less than a month since he stepped down as chair, and he’s announced he’s been planning a memoir. He expects to meet with publishers in the next several weeks, the Associated Press reports.

Bernanke joined the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors in 2002 and in 2006 was appointed chairman by President George W. Bush. He followed the long tenure of Alan Greenspan, the chair who put the position in the spotlight. Greenspan served under four presidents, held the position for nearly 20 years, and was almost 80 when he stepped down.

By comparison, Bernanke is a youngster. The 60-year-old economist spent eight years as Fed chair -- eight years that saw America plunge into a recession and struggle to recover.

“I want people to understand what we knew, when we knew it, how we made decisions and how we dealt with the enormous economic uncertainty,” he told the AP.


During the economic crisis, the Fed held regular and emergency sessions. Last week, it released hundreds of pages of transcripts from its 14 meetings in 2008, which include Bernanke’s comments.

“You kind of get the sense that they were in the middle of a car wreck,” the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell told Marketplace. “They were trying not to fall off the bridge, but they were not really aware of the gravity of the situation. In retrospect, they can look back and say, ‘That was really, really scary.’ ”

Bernanke’s previous books include “Principles of Macroeconomics” and “Essays on the Great Depression” -- to be clear, that’s the one in the 1930s.

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