Central banking is magic. With a few words, the Fed can lift the stock market out of desperation and catapult it towards euphoric highs. With a few keystrokes, the Fed can conjure up trillions of dollars and fund virtually unlimited Federal spending. And with a few poor decisions, the Fed can plunge the entire world into a recession. The Federal Reserve is one of the most powerful institutions in the world, and also one of the most difficult to understand.
The Fed acts through its Open Markets Desk, which sits at the heart of the global financial system as the world’s ultimate and limitless provider of dollars. On behalf of policy makers, the Desk gathers market intelligence from all the major market participants, sifts through reams of internal data, and works behind the scenes to keep the financial system intact. It is responsible for all of the Fed’s market operations, from trillions in quantitative easing to hundreds of billions in repo and FX-swap loans. The financial crises of 2008 and 2020 abated only through the emergency interventions of the Desk.
Joseph Wang spent five years studying the monetary system as a trader on the Desk. From that vantage point, Joseph saw firsthand how the Fed operates and how the financial system really works. This book is a distillation of his experience that aims to educate and demystify. After reading this book, you will understand how money is created, how the global dollar system is structured, and how it all fits into the broader financial system.
The views in this book do not necessarily reflect those of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System.