A former director of Federal Reserve Operations, Kudlinski attempts to demystify the Fed, and explain what it's doing wrong today and how those mistakes might be put right. In prose peppered with charts and tables, Kudlinski—also former CEO of five commercial and two mortgage banks—details changes within the system from 1970 to the present day. The most intriguing chapters include an explanation of how the Fed makes decisions, definitions of national and world gross domestic product, and a terse summary of the subprime mortgage mess. Kudlinski's experience shines through in this tight, enlightening overview of the Fed that will dispel confusion for both lay people and professionals. While Kudlinski is upfront about escalating problems confronting the Fed after former chairman Alan Greenspan resigned in 2006, he reveals a cautious optimism that the economy will improve as long as those in power learn from their mistakes.