Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire

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Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke walks away from the podiuim after delivering remarks September 15, 2011 in Washington, DC.

Economics reporter Neil Irwin discusses how, how the leaders of the world’s three most important central banks—Ben Bernanke of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Mervyn King of the Bank of England, and Jean-Claude Trichet of the European Central Bank—managed the global economic crisis. He tells of the birth of central banking in 17th-century Sweden, and traces how banks and bankers came to exercise extraordinary power over our collective fate. In his new book, The Alchemists: Three Central Bankers and a World on Fire, Irwin gives an account of the most intense exercise in economic crisis management the world has ever seen.