Weekly Wrap: The short version of the Fed notes

Former and current Federal Reserve Board Chairs, Ben Bernanke (L) and Janet Yellen (R).

The Washington Post's Catherine Rampell and Reuters' Felix Salmon joined us in the Mraketplace studios to discuss the newly-released minutes of Federal Reserve meetings from 2008.

Yeah, we the day reading old transcripts of Fed meetings...so you don't have to.

How'd the Fed do during the financial crisis?

Catherine Rampell: "You kind of get the sense that the were in the middle of a car wreck... 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.'"

Felix Salmon: "I think the main lesson I take from all this is: They had no idea how serious it was...Even through the fall and summer of 2008, they think the ecnomy is growing."

And Janet Yellen?

Felix Salmon: "She called it earlier than just about anyone else...[that's] precisely the reason they wanted her for the next Fed Chair."

How worrisome is it that we are scrutinizing these minutes for a "next time"?

Catherine Rampell: "I think there's going to be interest in this episode no matter what."

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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