Legislative Branch Pressures on Monetary Policy: 1914–1991

  • Thomas Havrilesky


The history of Congressional involvement with monetary policy in this century has two distinct aspects. The first is Congress’ concern with the structure of the central bank, particularly whether it would be controlled by political appointees or by representatives of the financial sector, specifically the banking industry. The second aspect is the legislative branch’s concern with the management of monetary policy. While there is overlap between the two concerns,1 Congressional focus on each is concentrated in two distinct time periods. Involvement with private sector versus political control occupied the Congressional consciousness for the first third of the century interrupted by Congressional dabblings in monetary policy management in 1921, 1926, 1928 and 1933. The control issue was resolved in favor of political appointees by the Banking Act of 1935. For the second half of the century, Congressional concern shifted to the management of monetary policy. This concern came into prominence with the emancipation of Federal Reserve monetary policy from Treasury control in the Accord of 1951, an event in which Congress played a pivotal role.


Monetary Policy Federal Reserve Monetary Authority Executive Branch Reserve Bank 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bach, George Leland. The Making of Monetary and Fiscal Policy ( Washington: Brookings Institution, 1971 ).Google Scholar
  2. Chandler, Lester. Bejamin Strong: Central Banker. ( Washington: Brookings, 1958 ).Google Scholar
  3. Chernow, Ron. The House of Morgan. ( New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990 ).Google Scholar
  4. Clifford, A. Jerome. The Independence of the Federal Reserve System. ( Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1965 ).Google Scholar
  5. Eichengreen, Barry. Golden Fetters: The Gold Standard and the Great Depression, 1919–1939. ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  6. Epstein, Gerald, and Thomas Ferguson. “Monetary Policy, Loan Liquidation and Industrial Conflict: The Federal Reserve and the Open Market Operations of 1932.” Journal of Economic History 44 (4) (December 1984), 957–983.Google Scholar
  7. Friedman, Milton, and Anna J. Schwartz. A Monetary History of the United States. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1963 ).Google Scholar
  8. Greider, William. Secrets of the Temple. ( New York: Random House, 1988 ).Google Scholar
  9. Kettl, Donald. Leadership at the Fed. ( New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  10. Maisel, Sherman. Managing the Dollar. ( New York: Norton, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  11. Meltzer, Allan H. “Monetary and Other Explanations of the Start of the Great Depression.” Journal of Monetary Economics 2 (4) (November 1976), 455–471.Google Scholar
  12. Te:lin, Peter. Lessons from the Great Depression (Cambridge Mass, MIT Press, 1991).Google Scholar
  13. Timberlake, Richard. Monetary Policy in the United States: An Institutional and Intellectual History. ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  14. U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Banking and Currency, Staff Report. Federal Reserve Structure and the Development of Monetary Policy, 1915–1935. 92nd Congress, First Session (December 1971).Google Scholar
  15. U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on Banking and Currency. Stabilization Hearings, March 24–25, 30–31, April 1,6,8,9,12–14, 1926 (H. Rpt. 7895, Pt.1). (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1927). (Y4.B22/1:F3I/12/pt.1).Google Scholar
  16. U.S. Congress, Committee on Banking and Currency. Stabilization Hearings, March 19–21, April 30, May 1–4, 8–9, 15–18, 2324, 28–29, 1928 (H. Rpt. 11806; superseding H. Rpt. 7895, Sixty-ninth Congress). (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1928). (Y4.B22/1:F31/15).Google Scholar
  17. U.S. Congress, Subcommittee of the Committee on Banking and Currency. Stabilization of Commodity Prices Hearings, March 16–18, 21–22, 28–29, April 13–14, 1932 (H. Rpt. 10517, Pts. 1–2). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1932. (Y4.B22/ 1:C73/2).Google Scholar
  18. Wells, Wyatt. Economist in an Uncertain World: Arthur F. Burns and the Federal Reserve. ( Ph.D. dissertation, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992 ).Google Scholar
  19. Wheelock, David C. The Strategy and Consistency of Federal Reserve Monetary Policy, 1924–1933. ( New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991 ).Google Scholar
  20. Wicker, Elmus. The Legacy of U.S. Central Banking Experience 1914–1915. (Manuscript).Google Scholar
  21. Wicker, Elmus. Federal Reserve Monetary Policy, 1917–1933. ( New York: Random House, 1966 ).Google Scholar
  22. Woolley, John T. Monetary Politics: The Federal Reserve and the Politics of Monetary Policy. ( New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Havrilesky
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

Personalised recommendations