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The marble halls of the Federal Reserve have always held secrets; for decades the Fed did the utmost to preserve its room to maneuver, operating behind the scenes as much as possible. Yet over the past two decades, this elite world of bankers and economists speaking a language that only monetary experts could understand has been forced to change its ways. Amid rising inequality, weakening global economic prospects, and a pandemic, the central bank has entered into a new era of transparency and activism that has changed its role in modern society in subtle but remarkable ways. Limitless tells the inside story of this deeply impactful transformation, and what it means for ordinary Americans. Focusing on characters such as the Fed chairman Jerome Powell; the Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles; Vice Chair Lael Brainard; the Minneapolis Fed president Neel Kashkari; and the long-ago Fed Chair Marriner S. Eccles—and driven by the rising tension between Main Street and Wall Street—this is a page-turning account of the modern Fed’s inner workings during a crucial inflection point in history.
Jeanna Smialek writes about the Federal Reserve and the economy for The New York Times. She previously covered economics at Bloomberg News, where she also wrote feature stories for Businessweek magazine. Smialek has an M.B.A. from New York University and graduated with a bachelor’s in journalism and international relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She grew up in Mars, Pa., a small town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh.
Neil Irwin is the chief economic correspondent at Axios, the digital media company. He reports on and analyzes U.S. and global economic trends, the Federal Reserve, financial markets, and how they interconnect. He is the lead author of Axios Macro, a daily e-mail newsletter focused on key economic and policy developments. He is the author of two books: The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire, a New York Times bestselling narrative of the world's central bankers fighting the global financial crisis; and How to Win in a Winner-Take-All World, an exploration of how to best navigate a career in the 21st century economy. From 2014 to 2021, Irwin was senior economic correspondent at The New York Times, where he wrote analysis and commentary on economic and financial market trends. Prior to the Times, Irwin was a reporter and columnist at The Washington Post for 13 years, where he covered the Federal Reserve and led coverage of the global financial crisis. He often analyzes economic trends on television and radio, including appearances on the PBS Newshour, CBS This Morning, BBC America, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, and public radio's Marketplace. Irwin has an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School, where he was a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism.