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The Federal Reserve and its Founders
Money, Politics and Power

Richard A. Naclerio

£50.00 | $70.00
ISBN 9781911116035
£16.00 | $25.00
ISBN 9781788210782
£16.00 | $25.00
ISBN 9781911116042
240 pages | 234 x 156mm | May 2018


"Approaching a potentially difficult topic in an engaging and readable fashion, Naclerio employs a mostly biographical lens to take readers through the origins of the Federal Reserve. From Nelson Aldrich to Frank Vanderlip, The Federal Reserve and its Founders examines how power was amassed and then how it was employed in the development of the US financial system. Timely and perceptive, the book offers insight for specialists and a gripping narrative for a general audience." – Robert David Johnson, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center

"The Federal Reserve is likely the most powerful single entity in the American economy. This book provides a rich story line about its creation, clears misconceptions about its positioning within our economic system, and serves as an illustration of how the combination of individual action – even when differentially motivated – can result in exponentially significant outcomes. Richard Naclerio does an excellent job of weaving an interesting, yet highly informative, treatise on a historical topic that remains extraordinarily relevant in today’s world." – Patrick G. Maggitti, Provost, Villanova University

"The Federal Reserve and its Founders is a must read for anyone interested in the Fed. From its very beginning, the author maintains, the institution was (and remains) about power. Indeed, its establishment was the handiwork of an 'economic coup d'état' by Wall Street. This is a masterfully well-written and well-researched account of a banking system that directly affects the quality of all our lives." – Carl Lane, Professor of History, Felician University, New Jersey


To fully understand the Federal Reserve and its role today we need to examine its origins and the men who founded it. Using extensive archival sources, Richard Naclerio investigates the highly secretive events that surrounded the Fed’s creation and the bankers, financiers and tycoons that shaped both its organization and the role it was to play over the next century. The motivations of these handful of men who met in secret on Jekyll Island, Georgia, to create the first draft of the Federal Reserve Act are scrutinized, and the fraternal and business ties and shared ideologies that bound these men together revealed. Naclerio shows how vested interest and the pursuit of power and profit brought about America’s first central bank.

The book makes a significant contribution to economic and financial history and sheds new light on the creation of one of the world’s most important financial institutions and how it came to have the national and international influence it exerts today.


1. Introduction
2. The System
3. The Island
4. The Politician
5. The Architect
6. The Lieutenant
7. The Emissary
8. The Professor
9. The Farm Boy
10. The Panic, the Pirate and Pujo
11. The War
12. The Journalist
13. Conclusion

Author Information

Richard A. Naclerio is a research student at City University of New York's Graduate Center and a Graduate Teaching Fellow at Lehman College, CUNY.

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