In recent months, Dr. Tiemann has been conducting research into the socio-economic and banking history of the California Gold Rush. He plans to produce a series of articles and, possibly, a book from that work. In this article, though, Dr. Tiemann examines the fascinating period just before the Gold Rush, when California’s economy suffered a severe shortage of cash and an absence of banks. Read about William A. Leidesdorff, a San Francisco merchant in the 1840s, who dealt with those handicaps by becoming, in effect, his own banker.
The Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to have one of its regularly-scheduled meetings with Fed Chair Janet Yellen making an announcement on interest rate policy. Most observers expect the Fed to leave short-term interest rates unchanged for now, but the FOMC’s likely actions in the near future could be to raise rates. Dr. Tiemann reviews the purpose of Monetary Policy in the context of the functioning of our banking system, the history, thinking and goals that animate the Fed’s actions.