What if Real People Ran the Fed?” (Up & Down Wall Street, Sept. 16).

Great question. Another prime example of a noneconomist chairman in Federal Reserve history is Marriner Eccles, a banker and industrialist from Salt Lake City who ran the Fed from 1934 to 1948, and then stayed on the board until 1951. Eccles was central in reorganizing the Fed with the Banking Act of 1935, which centralized power in Washington, and the main Federal Reserve building in Washington is named for him.

Touching on quantitative easing, or the Fed’s bond-buying binge, the dominant personality in the Fed in the 1920s was Benjamin Strong, a banker who famously said in 1927 that he was giving the stock market “a little coup de whisky.” His economist successor, Ben Bernanke, on the other hand, gave the stock market not a drink of whiskey, but a barrel.

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