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Classroom Economist


The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis

Chairman Bernanke's College Lecture Series

Photo of Ben BernankeBefore he joined the Fed's Board of Governors in 2006, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was a college economics professor. He returned to the classroom in the spring of 2012 to give a four-part lecture series on the actions of the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis of 2007 to students at George Washington University.

In the series' first lecture, "Origins and Mission of the Federal Reserve," Chairman Bernanke talks about how the current Federal Reserve System evolved, describing the Fed's role in the U.S. economy. He describes the mission of the Federal Reserve and explains how the Fed conducts monetary policy.

Eleven video clips, together running just under an hour, capture the Chairman's remarks in this first lecture. An additional segment features a postlecture question-and-answer session with the students. A transcript and presentation slides for the lecture are available, as are a related reading list and an instructor resource guide with classroom discussion questions, grouped by video clip.