Secrets Of The Temple, by Willian Greider, investigates the inner workings of the United States Federal Reserve; the central banking system, established by the Federal Reserve Act of 1913. The author, William Greider, attempts to demystify this small but very powerful entity in our lives. He defines the Federal Reserve as a group of twelve regional banks, supervised by the Federal Reserve Board; the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, composed of seven members appointed by the president. One of these governors is appointed chairman and though all these members are appointed for fourteen-year terms by the president, there is no provision to remove any member. Essentially, by controlling the credit market, the Federal Reserve System influences the nation's economic life. It can expand or contract the money supply by buying or selling U.S. securities and by raising or lowering reserve requirements (the amount that member banks must set aside as reserves).
The Federal Reserves Open Market Committee directs purchases and sales by the reserve banks of U.S. government securities in the open market. The most important duties of the Federal Reserve authorities involve the maintenance of national monetary and credit conditions through lending to member banks, open-market operations, fixing reserve requirements, and establishing discount rates. In a sense, each Federal Reserve bank is a "banker's bank," with member banks using their reserve accounts much as bank depositors use their checking accounts.
The author follows the economic conditions of the Carter
through Reagan Administrations. Paul Volcker was appointed as chairman
of the Federal Reserve and attempted to correct the economy by man-
ipulating the money supply sending it through a volatile up and down
roller-coaster. The author shows how the Federal Reserve, though it has
some contact with Washington, makes it's own monetary policy. The title...