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Publisher's Summary

An insider's unflinching exposé of the toxic culture within the Federal Reserve.

In the early 2000s, as a Wall Street escapee writing a financial column for the Dallas Morning News, Booth attracted attention for her bold criticism of the Fed's low interest rate policies and her cautionary warnings about the bubbly housing market. Nobody was more surprised than she when the folks at the Dallas Federal Reserve invited her aboard. Figuring she could have more of an impact on Fed policies from the inside, she accepted the call to duty and rose to be one of Dallas Fed president Richard Fisher's closest advisors.

To her dismay, the culture at the Fed - and its leadership - were not just ignorant of the brewing financial crisis but indifferent to its very possibility. They interpreted their job of keeping the economy going to mean keeping Wall Street afloat at the expense of the American taxpayer. But bad Fed policy created unaffordable housing, skewed incentives, rampant corporate financial engineering, stagnant wages, an exodus from the labor force, and skyrocketing student debt. Booth observed firsthand how the Fed abdicated its responsibility to the American people both before and after the financial crisis - and how nobody within the Fed seems to have learned or changed from the experience.

Today the Federal Reserve is still controlled by 1,000 PhD economists and run by an unelected West Coast radical with no direct business experience. The Fed continues to enable Congress to grow our nation's ballooning debt and avoid making hard choices, despite the high psychological and monetary costs. And our addiction to the "heroin" of low interest rates is pushing our economy toward yet another collapse.

This book is Booth's clarion call for a change in the way America's most powerful financial institution is run - before it's too late.

©2017 Danielle DiMartino Booth (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

 “This view from the inside is not to be missed.” (A. Gary Shilling, president of A. Gary Shilling & Co., Inc.)

“Danielle DiMartino Booth has written an informed, thoughtful, eye-opening - and justifiably angry - memoir of her days at the Federal Reserve. A monetary broadside for our populist world.” (James Grant, publisher of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer

“An outsider-turned-insider gives a gripping account of how false, but stubbornly held beliefs at the Fed helped create the global economic crisis as well as contribute to rising inequality in the United States. Brutally honest and engagingly written.... A mustread.” (William R. White, former economic adviser and head of the monetary and economic department at the Bank for International Settlements) 

What listeners say about Fed Up

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excellent book

fantastic read on your work at fed. eventually the people will rise against this corrupt establishment , nothing or no establishment lasts forever. thanks for sharing this , I am forever greatful.

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Best from a Fed Insider

Great book from Danielle, she is both a good writer & speaker. Her insights into her journey at the Fed was very interesting, to hear of the personalities of key players during the GFC. If only we had more people like Danielle and her boss. Remembering the little guy. If you are interested in monetary policy or a real history lesson on the GFC, this is a must read.

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  • casey
  • 20-02-2017

straight forward brilliant

I love it when people that have extreme experience in life are able to put it in a book and give you real insight

10 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-07-2018

good analysis of fed dysfunction. but.....

the author surely has an experienced and insightful knowledge of the inner workings of the Fed, and concisely boils down the problems at the end of the book. since she is technically an Insider it's not surprising that she does not identify the much larger systemic and mechanical failings which cause the FED to be conflicted and deficient in serving the U. S. citizenry.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Travis
  • 19-06-2017

Disappointed.

Would you try another book from Danielle DiMartino Booth and/or Danielle DiMartino Booth?

Probably not. I don't like her writing style.

What three words best describe Danielle DiMartino Booth’s performance?

Her performance in the studio is just fine, but I feel her writing style and center of focus distracts from any significant points she's trying to make.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe.

Any additional comments?

After G. Edward Griffin's book, "The Creature From Jekyll Island", this reads like a gossip column. I wanted the perspective of an insider, but I feel like I heard more about how other insiders dressed and looked than anything else.

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  • sheila
  • 19-02-2017

Unbelievable insight into what happened to my money!

Wow! This book provides an eye opening view of the bad egghead decision makers who greedily made bad decisions or lack there of decisions at the Federal Reserve and how it had affected me and my family over the years! A truthful tell all with sighted documentation! Very scary that we put so much trust in the hands of the Feds without proper checks and balances preventing decisions that solve issues for one group but create big one for groups to come. The Feds forgot who they were protecting! Money does enable growth. Don't prevent hard working Americans from well deserved rewards. A must read for all!

3 people found this helpful

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  • TavianCainBass
  • 17-06-2020

Fed and Financial Crisis explained

Well, mostly explained. This book won't do much to explain how or why the Federal Reserve was created in the first place. For that you should read G. Edward Griffin's "The Creature from Jekyll Island." But what it will explain is how the Fed created and perpetuated the financials crises of the last 20 years - including the housing crisis, the Great Recession and the long, protracted recovery. Amazingly, this book is even MORE prescient in 2020 than it was when published in 2017 as the Fed is repeating the EXACT SAME PLAYBOOK this time around. Stock market down? Better lower interest rates! Stock market down again? Lower interest rates to zero and do QE - bigger than ever before!

The Fed is completely clueless and are actively harming America for the benefit of 1%. I would say that this book could be updated through today and be even more complete but honestly, everything the Fed has done since Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's capitulation to the capital markets in December 2018 is literally the same as Bernanke's and Yellen's response a decade earlier. You couldn't write a script like this and have it be believable - nobody is so stupid as to do the exact same thing twice, right? Wrong.

The biggest insight I gleaned from this book is how "ivory tower" the Fed is. Hundreds - literally, hundreds - of Ph.D. economists who have no knowledge of actual financial markets but have mathematical models that show them how they THINK the world should work, are in charge of the nation's most important economic decisions to ruinous effect. The models are wrong. Always. Yet they stick to it. Ms. DiMartino Booth describes how she, with a lowly MBA from UT Austin, was an outcast in the Dallas Federal Reserve because of her "lack of credentials." Nevermind that as a former employee of DLJ and Credit Suisse she had more experience on Wall Street than every single economist, they viewed her as someone whose opinions were worthless due to her outsider status. Fortunately, the president of the Dallas Fed, Richard Fisher, the one who pushed her to come on board in the first place, saw past all the nonsense. Fisher himself was an outsider, almost always opposing Bernanke's and Yellen's madness, a theme that repeats throughout this book.

In any case, this book will make you angry. You will wonder why Congress doesn't take back control from an unelected group of economists. This book provides no solutions to that, but it does do a great job describing the sheer blindness of the Federal Reserve and its ruinous effects on America.

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  • erickarlos
  • 12-01-2018

Required Reading

A lot has been said about the Fed and housing/finance/banking crises, as well as the subsequent actions of those in-charge. What we have seldom heard was an insider’s take on the worldview and framework of those decision-makers, and how their severely flawed understanding of the real world implications of their theory-based decisions and academic experiments contributed to unprecedented risk and destruction of wealth.

Out of all the books out there on this subject, I would rank this as a top 3. Not only is the content outstanding, but the narration and story-telling is great as well.

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  • Brian E. Robinson
  • 25-10-2017

Love the book and her Audible presentation!!

Danielle’s book is excellent and so is her presentation! I learned so much and she kept my attention throughout. I am not an economist, I’m not in banking or finance, but I am interested in the Federal Reserve System going back to the beginning. I’m a bit of a historian I suppose. She has inspired me to continue my study of central banking. Many thanks!

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  • Christopher L. Wimsatt
  • 21-02-2017

a keen look at a hard-to-define institution

the narrator was excellent. The writing was better. The story told was the best.

the Fed is an arcane institution whose function is obscured by jargon that often seems intentionally convoluted. the role of the central bank and the tools at its disposal can seem impenetrable to anyone without concurrent degrees in economics, political science, and finance. This book breaks that barrier and explains the actions by massivley powerful and breathtakingly anonymous people as the world began to unravel in the aftermath pf the housing crisis. highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Brandy Crosby
  • 30-12-2020

Essential to Understanding the Great Recession

Always great to hear the author reading their own words! Her perspective from within the FED during the greatest economic crisis of my lifetime is invaluable to understanding what really happened. Unfortunately, it confirmed many of my worst suspicions about the elitist academics within the institution. My two biggest complaints are 1) at certain points the book was a little too technical for me and 2) the conclusion was not my own - we should #EndTheFed. Overall, it was a great listen and totally worth the price of admission - in fact, I'll likely listen a 2nd time just to try and get a better understanding of those things that went over my head! 🙃

1 person found this helpful

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  • Supreme Surface
  • 15-12-2020

Buy Bitcoin

One of the most insightful books we can ever pass onto others. An in depth understanding of an absurd politicized financial system. In high school 1984 by George Orwell was required reading. This book should be too. I’ll pass a copy onto my adult children for Christmas.

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  • Mr
  • 07-03-2021

Good insight into an extraordinary institution.

I've become a fan of Booth's commentary on economics in recent months, so was interested to read her account of her time at the Federal Reserve, and her critique of that institution. It's quite an eye-opener, the amount of power wielded by the almost entirely unaccountable body over the lives of hundreds of millions is incredible. And although those who wield that power do not come across in the book as "bad people", they do seem blinkered, snobbish, and cosseted from the consequences of their decisions.

I would have liked a little more of Booth's pithy and insightful economic analysis, but given how fast such material tends to age, I can understand why she chose to stick firmly to the main theme of her book. She also recommends some specific reforms that could be made to the reserve, which is something I always appreciate in books that make broad critiques.

The author does a good job narrating her own material.

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