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.

Get your copy of Laurence Meyer’s book

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.

P.J. O’Rourke

Photo by Cato Institute.

Can you think of a subject that is drier and more boring than economics? After all, there is a reason that even it’s practitioners call it “the dismal science “.

But in the hands of satirist and journalist, P.J. O’Rourke, economics takes on a whole new brilliance.

And the title of his 1998 treatise on world economics, Eat The Rich, seems to have special resonance today.

Indeed, the ongoing debates over capitalism versus socialism is as powerful now as it was when I interviewed P.J. 25 years ago.

So here now, from 1998, P.J. O’Rourke.

P.J. O’Rourke died of cancer in 2022. He was 74.

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