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Fall 2012 - 62425 - PA393L - Advanced Policy Economics

Central Banking & Congressional Investigation

Instructor(s): Auerbach, Robert D.
Unique Number: 62425
Day & Time: Th 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.216/219
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Students are required to take an additional three-hour course in policy economics, selected from among a set of courses focusing on the application of economic theory and techniques to a specific area of public policy. Course options include macroeconomics, public finance, regulation, international trade and finance, natural resources and environmental policy, health policy, transportation policy, human resource development, urban and regional economic development, international development, education policy, social policy, and labor economics. Not all options are offered every year. This course is usually taken in the second year. 

Section Description

The central bank of the United States, the Federal Reserve, is the most powerful peacetime bureaucracy in the federal government. Its actions affect the economic well being of United States residents and people around the world. Yet, few know much about what it does. What they do know is often wrong. What powers does this central bank have? How is the United States money supply created and how are interest rates managed by the Federal Reserve? How, why and under what authority does the Federal Reserve appropriate loans to foreign countries bypassing the United States Congress? How has the Federal Reserve met its responsibilities to reduce gender and racial bias in bank lending? How did the Federal Reserve manage its fleet of 500-plus airplanes that delivered paper checks across the country every weekday night? What happened to the transcripts of its meetings that it kept secret for seventeen years and why did it begin to shred its records in the 1994? How is the Federal Reserve connected to the banks it regulates? How has Congress carried out its oversight responsibilities of this powerful government bureaucracy? The 2008 financial crisis and its continuing effects will be presented.

Professor Auerbach was an economist with the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee for eleven years. He assisted four Committee Chairman Congressional investigations of the Federal Reserve and other oversight and hearing functions during the tenure of four Federal Reserve Chairmen: Arthur Burns, William Miller, Paul Volcker, and Alan Greenspan. Auerbach also served as an economist in the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Domestic Monetary Affairs during the Ronald Reagan administration and as a financial economist with the Federal Reserve. He has been a professor of economics at the American University in Washington, D.C., and a professor of economics and finance at the University of California-Riverside. He has written numerous articles, two textbooks on money, banking and financial markets (MacMillan Publishing Company), and the following book assigned in this course, Deception and Abuse at the Fed; Henry B. Gonzalez Battles the Alan Greenspan Bank, May 2008, University of Texas Press, The American Library Association’s online magazine, Choice, selected the book as one of their picks for March 2009. Huffington Post published excerpts from chapters 5, "Valuable Secrets and the Return of Greenspan's 'Prophetic Touch'" 5/13/10), Chapter 6, The Seventeen Year Lie," 12/9/09 and Chapter 9, “When Five Hundred Economists Are Not Enough,” 11/30/09, also on Kindle.