William L. Silber

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William L. Silber is the Marcus Nadler Professor of Finance and Economics at the Stern School of Business, New York University. He has served as Senior Economist with the President's Council of Economic Advisors,[1] was a member of the Economic Advisory Panel of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York,[2] and has published eight books, including a college textbook, Principles of Money, Banking and Financial Markets, with Lawrence Ritter and Gregory Udell (Addison Wesley, 2009), that has gone through twelve editions.[3] His most notable contributions have been in economic history, where he has shown the importance of analyzing institutional detail before applying statistical techniques to historical data.

Biography[edit]

Silber holds a bachelor's degree (1963) from Yeshiva University, and an M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. (1966) from Princeton University; He was voted Professor of the Year by NYU Stern MBA students in 1990, 1997, and 2018 and was awarded NYU's Distinguished Teaching Medal in 1999.

Academic work[edit]

Silber’s study of the four-month closing of the New York Stock Exchange at the outbreak of World War I, When Washington Shut Down Wall Street: The Great Financial Crisis of 1914 and the Origins of America’s Monetary Supremacy (Princeton University Press, 2007), was discussed in the Economic History Review by financial historian Hugh Rockoff: “One of the great strengths of the book is that while it never loses sight of the major issues—the rise of New York as the world’s leading financial centre, crisis management, and so on—it also explains the workings of the financial sector in convincing detail. Every postgraduate student of economics and finance, and many of their academics, would benefit from reading these sections and seeing how the financial series to which we apply our econometric skills actually arise from the actions of real people coping on a daily basis with problems that appear to them to be unprecedented.” [4] In Harvard’s Business History Review Maury Klein writes: “Few writers have paid much attention to the closing of the Exchange, except as a curiosity exemplifying the shock experienced by Americans when the war came. Silber has done historians a favor by placing that event in a context that reveals its broader significance. The war transformed the United States from a debtor to a creditor nation and elevated it to the position of dominant industrial power in the world. The gold standard returned to haunt the tangled web of international relations during the 1920s and 1930s. Several scholars have pointed to gold as the root source of the depression that blighted the economies of different nations at different times. All these complex events take on a greater clarity when illuminated by Silber’s portrayal of their starting point.[5]

Silber’s biography of former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul A. Volcker, Volcker: The Triumph of Persistence (Bloomsbury, 2012), also emphasizes the importance of institutional detail. According to Stanford Professor John Taylor, “Mr. Silber offers fascinating subplots and revelations along the way—not to mention a portrait of a tough and colorful man—but his main storyline concerns two of the most dramatic-policy changes in economic history, one international, the other domestic. Mr. Volcker played a key role in both.”[6] The Volcker biography was named the China Business News (CBN) 2013 Financial Book of the Year,[7] was named an “Editor’s Choice” by the New York Times,[8] was named “One of the Best Business Books of 2012” by Bloomberg Businessweek,[9] and was listed as “One of 2012’s Great Leadership Books” by the Washington Post.[10] Neil Irwin wrote in the Washington Post, “William L. Silber has written a rich and detailed new biography of a man who has left as deep an imprint on the world economy as anyone of his generation."[11]

Bibliography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Economic Report of the President, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1970, p. 188.
  2. ^ Annual Report, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New York, 1995, p. 131; 1996, p.53; 1997, p. 63; 1998, p. 65; 1999, p. 71
  3. ^ WorldCat book record
  4. ^ Economic History Review, 61, 4 (2008), p. 1032
  5. ^ Business History Review / Volume 81 / Issue 03 / Autumn 2007, pp. 586-588.
  6. ^ Wall Street Journal, September 8, 2012, p.C5.
  7. ^ "China Business News Announced 2013 Financial Book of the Year". December 17, 2013. 
  8. ^ “Editors’ Choice,” New York Times, October 28, 2012, page BR22
  9. ^ "Best Books of 2012, According to Business Leaders". Bloomberg Businessweek. December 4, 2012. 
  10. ^ "Great Leadership Books in 2012". Washington Post. November 26, 2012. 
  11. ^ “Volcker Biographer: Bernanke Needs to Embrace Lessons of 1970s,” by Neil Irwin, Washington Post, September 30, 2012, p. G4.

External Links[edit]