In the turbulent years between passage of the Federal Reserve Act (1913) and the Bretton Woods Agreement (1945), the peoples of the Western world suffered two World Wars, two major and several minor international financial panics, an epidemic of currency devaluations and debt repudiations, civil wars, and revolutions. They also enjoyed a decade of unprecedented prosperity and a decade of unprecedented depression and deflation. They also saw the beginning of a period of prolonged, world-wide inflation.
No period in history could serve better as a case study for the analysis of applied economic policy. From his vantage point as economist for the Chase Manhattan Bank and editor of the Chase Economic Bulletin, who participated in much of what he records, Dr. Anderson here describes the climactic events of a turbulent era.
“Here is the economic history of the United States in the fateful period from 1914 to 1946. This history is quite properly seen not in isolation but as an integral part of world economic history; for the true, economic liberal, like Anderson, is never an economic isolationist or nationalist.
Throughout most of the period of which he writes he was the economist of the Chase National Bank. He made several trips to Europe, and was one of the American group that negotiated the standstill agreements with the banks of Germany.
This history, therefore, is written by a man uniquely qualified for the task. He combined a rare grasp of economic theory with an intimate knowledge of the events of these years gained as a close and privileged observer, and sometimes as an important adviser and participant.”
Benjamin M. Anderson
Benjamin M. Anderson Jr. (1886-1949) - an American economist in the Austrian tradition of Carl Menger.
Anderson took his master's degree at the University of Illinois in 1910, and his PhD in economics, philosophy, and sociology at Columbia in 1911. The wide range of knowledge and intellectual interests that he had developed at this time is indicated not only by the three subjects in which he took his doctorate but by a glance at his teaching career.
He became professor of history at the State Normal School at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, in 1905. He was professor of English literature as well as economics at the Missouri Valley College at Marshall, Missouri, in 1906. He was head professor both of history and economics at the State Teachers College in Springfield, Missouri, between 1907 and 1911.