Inside the Fed: A Personal Journey with Laurence Meyer

If you have a mortgage, or a car loan, or credit card, you probably pay attention to interest rates. And these days that means you probably keep a pretty close eye on the Federal Reserve.

Several times a year the Fed’s Board of Governors meets to set short term rates, and as a result, long-term rates – such as mortgages – and bond rates and equity markets take their cue from that.

For five and a half years, from 1996 to 2002, economist Laurence Meyer was a Fed Governor. He was among those experts who met a few times a year to keep the economy on track.

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He described that experience in his 2004 book A Term At The Fed.

Now if you’re like me and never got past Econ 101 in school, there’s nothing in this interview that you need to be an economist to understand. Rather, it’s a personal exploration of how one man navigated the gulf between theory and practice. And often laughed at himself.

So here now, from 2004, Laurence Meyer.

Laurence Meyer is 80 now. He has been involved in various roles since his Fed term ended.

Mamie Van Doren: The Untamed Youth of Hollywood’s Blonde Bombshell

In 1950s America there were two famous women named Mamie. One, of course,was the First Lady, Mamie Eisenhower.

The other was blonde bombshell Mamie Van Doren, whose career put her in the same stratosphere as Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield.

And Mamie was not shy about her sexiness. She had many male acquaintances, shall we call them.

Joan Lucille Olander was born in 1931 in South Dakota. Her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 11. And, one thing leading to another, she married for the first time at age 17, in a union that ended quickly.

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By age 19 she had a movie contract, launching the career that catapulted her to star status. In the ‘50s and ‘60s she was rarely out of work.

In 1987 Mamie wrote her autobiography, Playing the Field. That’s when I met her and interviewed her – and then we talked again a year later when the book came out in softcover.

So here now, from 1988,. Mamie Van Doren.

Mamie Van 93 now, having outlived Marilyn, Jayne, Suzanne, and Farrah.

Remembering the Ia Drang Valley: The Battle That Changed Vietnam

Gen. Hal Moore. Photo by Ahodges7

It’s been almost 50 years since the last American soldier came home from Vietnam. But the memories of the 10-year war that tore the nation apart still color the U.S. today.

On this Memorial Day I wanted to bring you an interview I did in 1993 with retired Army Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and war correspondent Joe Gallowaty. They had recently returned from a visit to Vietnam.

Joe Galloway. Photo by Cmichel67

They had gone back to the Ia Drang Valley, scene of the first major battle of the war in 1965, with Gen. Moore in command. On their visit, they met with some Vietnamese veterans who, nearly 30 years earlier, had been determined to kill them.

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Moore and Galloway wrote a book about the historic battle, called We Were Soldiers Once… And Young. When it was made into a movie in 2002 the title was shortened to “We Were Soldiers.” Mel Gibson portrayed Gen. Moore.

So here now, from the fall of 1993, Lt. Gen. Hal Moore and Joe Galloway.

Gen. Hal Moore died in 2017, three days before his 95th birthday.

Joe Galloway died in 2021 at age 79.

Charlie Murphy: From ‘Chappelle’s Show’ to Stand-Up Guy

Photo by Timothy M. Moore

If you were a fan of the Comedy Central series “Chappelle’s Show,” you know Charlie Murphy.

The multi-talented actor, comedian, and writer was a popular cast member, especially known for his “Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood Stories” segments.

His acting career began in the 1980s, but Charlie was something of a latecomer to the world of standup comedy – where his younger brother Eddie was already a major star.

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As it turned out, Charlie Murphy had a terrific talent for standup. And in 2009 he wrote a book called The Making of a Stand-Up Guy. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 2009, Charlie Murphy.

Charlie Murphy died in 2017. He was 57.

From Insider to Author: Susan Ford’s White House Thriller

Susan Ford was 17 when her father, Gerald Ford, became the nation’s 38th president, and she moved into the White House.

The youngest of the Fords’ children, and the only daughter, Susan acclimated to her new surroundings, absorbing details about the history and protocols of the First Family’s home.

And years later, she drew upon that intimate insider’s knowledge to write fiction, a mystery set in the White House, complete with scandal and intrigue. .

Susan Ford at 17

In a nod to her real life profession, and that of her book’s main character, Ford called her book Double Exposure.

And alongside all the elements of a good, page-turning mystery Ford gave her readers some delectable tidbits about the White House and its mysteries.

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So here now, from 2002, Susan Ford.

Susan Ford will be 67 in July. She lives in Texas.

The Galloping Gourmet: Graham Kerr’s Journey from TV Fame to Humble Grace

In the late 1960s and early ‘70s television audiences ate up what they were served by a unique cooking show host who called himself The Galloping Gourmet.

London-born Graham Kerr began his culinary training at the age of 14. After a decade in hospitality Kerr made his TV debut in 1959 in New Zealand. A promoter soon put him on television in Australia, too, And in 1968 “The Galloping Gourmet” was launched in North America.

Kerr’s producer was his wife Treena, whom he married in 1955. They had known each other since age 11.

Get your copy of Graham Kerr & Treena Kerr’s book

In their later years, Graham and Treena Kerr embraced a simpler, less materialistic life. Adhering to their closely-held Christian beliefs the couple lived a life of healthy self-denial.

And in 2006 they published a book called Recipe For Life. And true to their more modest lifestyle, they invited me to do the interview from their motorhome parked in a campground not far from Baltimore.

So here now, from that sunny fall day in 2006, the Kerrs:

Graham Kerr is 90 now, and lives in Washington State. Treena died at age 81 in 2015, just a few days before the couple’s 60th wedding anniversary.

Stephen Covey: The Man Behind the 7 Habits that Shaped Millions of Lives

Let’s face it, most self-help books are a dime a dozen – get a better job, have a happy marriage, raise smart kids.

So when a book comes along that can help people do all of those, it catches fire.

Drawing on principles he learned as a lifelong Mormon, Stephen Covey in 1989 published his bookThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. And it became hug

It spawned its own little industry — more books, tapes, videos, and public appearances. The book has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

In 1996 Time magazine called him one of the 25 most influential people.

Ttoday let’s go back to where it all started. I interviewed him when his book was first published. So here now, from 1989, Stephen Covey.

Stephen Covey died in 2012. He was 79.

You may also like these episodes:

Tony Robbins

Suze Orman

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Raffi: How a Children’s Singer Became an International

The3 Washington Post once referred to Raffi as “the most popular children’s singer in the English-speaking world.”

And generations of fans would probably agree.

Raffi has been entertaining youngsters since the 1970s, when he turned his folk singing ambition to address a younger audience, inspired by his wife, a kindergarten teacher.

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In 1998 Raffi published his autobiography, called The Life of a Children’s Troubadour. And that’s when I had a few minutes with him.,

So here now, from 1998. Raffi.

Raffi will be 76 in July. He still performs publicly, and his most recent album is “Penny Penguin” released earlier this year.

Erin Brockovich: The Power of Persistence/


In 1993, a single mother with no legal training, no experikence as an attorney, helped bring a major corporation to its knees.

Erin Brockovich joined attorney Ed Masry in suing Pacific Gas & Electric, which was accused of poisoning the water supply in a small California town called Hinkley.

Soon, Hollywood heard about the story, and it was turned into a major Motion Picture in 2000, starring Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich.

Get your copy of Erin Brockovich’s book

In 2001, Brockovich wrote a book about her experience. That’s when I met her.

So here, from 2001, Erin Brockovich.

Erin Brockovich will be 64 next month.

She’s president of Brockovich Research & Consulting. And she is a consultant for law firms in New York and Australia.

The Art of the Ethical Deal: How Bob Woolf Mastered Friendly Persuasion

When we hear about professional athletes or musicians actors who get those multi-million dollar contracts, do you ever think about who got them that deal?

Behind the scenes you will typically find an experienced and skilled negotiator.Someone like Bob Woolf, one of the pioneers of snagging big contracts for sports stars.

Woolf represented stars like Carl Yastrzemski, Larry Bird, and Julius Erving.

Get your copy of Bob woolf’s book

But he also negotiated deals for Larry King and New Kids On The Block.

And along the way Woolf developed a reputation that may run counter to your notion of what a powerful dealmaker has to be. Woolf was known for his amicable and strictly ethical approach to negotiating a deal.

He shared his knowledge in a 1990 book called Friendly Persuasion. And that’s when I met him.

So here now, from 1990, Bob Woolf.

Bob Woolf died in 1993. He was 65.