In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, there has been increasing debate over the appropriate role of central banks in mitigating economic disaster. This timely volume combines detailed historical and econometric analyses to explore the profound changes that occurred within the US financial system from the 1980s to the present, and shows how these changes have affected the US economy. Hasan Comert demonstrates how dramatic shifts in the financial system undermined the ability of the US Federal Reserve to control the price and quantity of credit. He identifies several key factors that facilitated this loss of control, including deregulation, rapid financial innovations, increased financial integration and a number of policy decisions implemented within the Federal Reserve itself. Through a combination of several methods, including historical and institutional analyses, descriptive statistics, simulation and econometric techniques, the author provides a well-rounded and vitally important picture of the US financial system and offers insightful policy recommendations for the future. Students, professors and policymakers with an interest in economics, finance, banking and monetary policy will no doubt find this book a fascinating and invaluable resource.