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Maestro Book Review Bob Woodwards book Maestro is sort of a mini-political biography of Alan Greenspan The book doesnt get into Greenspans personal life at all rather it sticks to the discussion of Greenspans work as an economist for the US government There is very little criticism of Greenspan in this book Woodward himself just tells Greenspans story He doesnt make any criticisms or offer any analysis The only criticism at all comes from some of Greenspans fellow Federal Reserve members on the Board of Governors and from some of the other members of the Federal Open Market Committee But even this criticism is weak There are fifteen chapters to this book much of it explaining how the Federal Reserve Board works The board meets once every six weeks with twelve voting members and seven Federal governors plus five of the twelve Presidents from the Federal Reserve district banks around the country The Federal Reserve headquarters is located on Constitution Avenue in Downtown Washington D C This board is called the Federal Open Market Committee FOMC which Alan Greenspan is Chairman Woodward explains that the main concern of the Federal Reserve Board is to keep control of the interest rate that the Fed controls and the short-term fed funds rate the interest rate the regular banks charge each other for over night loans Greenspan understood that controlling the fed funds rate was the key to the power over the economy The Federal Reserve also had power in the bond market to ease credit by having a trading desk in the New York Stock Exchange to buy U S Treasury Bonds This pumps money into the banking system and eventually into the economy giving the fed and ultimitly Greenspan himself a lot of power over the economy Much of the book covers these Federal Reserve Board meetings and how Alan Greenspan maneuvered his people on the board to go along with whether to
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