Monetary Policy and Currencies Reading List
Supplemental readings and other resources to help you explore a full range of issues and debates related to the module materials.
James McBride and Andrew Chatzky, “The Role of the U.S. Federal Reserve,” last updated November 8, 2018.
An accessible look at how the Federal Reserve works and at some of the issues it has faced recently. (2,400 words)
“The U.S. Financial Crisis, 1992–2008,” September 12, 2018.
A multimedia timeline that tracks the 2008 financial crisis, from buildup to aftermath. (3,100 words)
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, “The Rock-Star Appeal of Modern Monetary Theory,” Nation, May 8, 2017.
An even-handed exploration of an economic idea gaining popularity among some thinkers. (2,600 words)
Binyamin Appelbaum, “America’s Most Profitable Export: Money,” New York Times, March 9, 2019.
A short exploration of the role of the U.S. dollar as the global reserve currency and the effects of that status. (700 words)
Neil Irwin, “What’s at Risk if the Fed Becomes As Partisan as the Rest of Washington,” New York Times, April 6, 2019.
An analysis of recent candidates for the Federal Reserve that explains the history and purpose of the institution. (1,100 words)
Matthew O’Brien, “Why the Gold Standard Is the World’s Worst Economic Idea, in Two Charts,” Atlantic, August 26, 2012.
A brief explanation of the effects a return to the gold standard would have on the economy. (800 words)
Carlos Garcia Rawlins, Shaylim Castro, and Isaac Urrutia, “Venezuelans Rush to Shops Before Monetary Overhaul,” Reuters, updated August 22, 2018.
A photo essay that illustrates the effects of inflation. (700 words)
Lawrence H. Summers, “The Left’s Embrace of Modern Monetary Theory Is a Recipe for Disaster,” Washington Post, March 4, 2019.
A famous economist makes the case against a new economic idea. (800 words)
James Surowiecki, “A Brief History of Money,” IEEE Spectrum, May 30, 2012.
A detailed look at what money is and how it works, illustrated by historical examples. (4,000 words)
“An Affair to Remember,” Economist, July 27, 2006.
A detailed summary of the Suez crisis. (2,800 words)
Barry Eichengreen, Exorbitant Privilege: The Rise and Fall of the Dollar and the Future of the International Monetary System, 2012.
Written in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, a detailed look at the history and future of the U.S. dollar as a currency. (240 pages)
Andrew Ross Sorkin, Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System—and Themselves, 2010.
A blow-by-blow account of how the 2008 financial crisis unfolded on Wall Street and in Washington. (617 pages)
Charles Wheelan, Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science, 2010.
Easily accessible to those with no background, a fast-paced book that illustrates a handful of basic economic concepts with well-written stories and examples. (385 pages)
Charles Wheelan, Naked Money: A Revealing Look at Our Financial System, 2016.
A book that explores money in a fun, accessible way, using an approach similar to Naked Economics. (369 pages)
Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson, “The Giant Pool of Money,” This American Life, May 9, 2008.
A famous podcast episode that tells the story of the housing crisis that helped precipitate the 2008 financial crisis. (57 minutes)
Michael Barbaro, “Ten Years After the Financial Crisis,” The Daily, New York Times, September 21, 2018.
An interview with financial columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin that looks back at the 2008 financial crisis ten years later. (23 minutes)
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, “Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED).”
A comprehensive collection of data on all kinds of economic indicators.