The Doomsday Book is largely a collection of legal opinions compiled by the New York Federal Reserve (and long kept secret) that defines its authority to respond to financial crises. Thanks to a successful Freedom of Information Act request by the author, this essay discloses the Doomsday Book’s contents and puts them into context. The document reveals that instead of adhering strictly to clear legislative boundaries to justify its actions during financial crises, the Fed seems to ground many of its decisions in the New York Fed’s belief in the agency’s discretionary authority.

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Emre Kuvvet is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and Associate Professor of Finance at Nova Southeastern University. His article, “What Is in the Federal Reserve’s Doomsday Book?” will appear in The Independent Review in the Spring 2024 issue.
EconomyFederal Reserve and Central Banking
Other Independent Review articles by Emre Kuvvet
Fall 2022 Political Affiliations of Federal Reserve Economists