Podcast & Book Reviews

January 29, 2023

Book Review: Trillion Dollar Triage, by Nick Timiraos

By Nelson DeMestre | Associate Analyst at NAOS Asset Management

Book Review: Trillion Dollar Triage, by Nick Timiraos

This book is a terrific read, taking readers behind the scenes of the decisions by the Federal Reserve throughout the pandemic. It is difficult to understand the mechanics of how these decisions are made, so it is interesting once broken down into simpler terms, including the context and key players.

Some interesting passages from the book include:

President Trump to Powell regarding Germany's thoughts on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Policies:

“They think it’s so funny that you don’t understand any of this, how they’re picking our pockets because of you, and they tell me this personally” - President Donald Trump

Mid Pandemic Risks:

“Why don’t you tell me what’s plausible, what’s the real worst case?” - Jay Powell

“Well, Jay, if we become Italy, and we shut down the entire economy, then this will be a bigger hit than the Great Depression” - Vice Chair Richard Clarida

Role of the Fed:

“There are two sides to Powell’s job. One could fairly be described as boring – regulating banks and the supply of credit to keep the economy growing steadily…Setting the price of money influences the prices Americans pay on their credit-card balances, their car loans, their mortgages. The other side of his job is harder to quantify: maintaining confidence in the financial system. In a few hours on that Monday, investors had erased the Dow’s gains for the year to date.”

Link to Book

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