- Economist, Analyst
Published June 15, 2012 | June 2012 issue
Ben Bernanke is, of course, best known as the head of the Federal Reserve and the man who helped guide the economy during the turbulent financial crisis that emerged in 2007. But before he became Fed chair in 2006, he was an economics professor for nearly a quarter of a century. In March 2012, Bernanke brought together his old and new careers by delivering four lectures about the Federal Reserve—its origins and mission, its role in the Great Depression and in the Great Recession, and its challenges in the aftermath of the financial crisis—to a group of undergraduates at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Demand was high for Bernanke’s classes; unfortunately, the university could accommodate in-person attendance by only 30 students. But the Fed’s Board of Governors recorded the lectures and put them on the web. Now, all those who wish they could have been at the Bernanke talks in March can do so virtually, whenever it’s convenient for them. Classroom lecture videos and transcripts are available at the Fed website, along with presentation slides and a reading list.