Erma Clare

After working in a Federal Reserve Bank for over thirty years and teaching about it on the side for over ten of those years, Erma Clare is passionate about the public’s need to better understand it and that its accountability to the public rather than politicians is critical to the economic health of the U.S.

Erma loves reading fiction and chose books that gave her a sense of a time or place that she was unwilling to read about in nonfiction. Knowing others did the same, she sought a way to introduce the Fed through fiction.

The characters in A Fed Spirit are imagined though their roles that have existed in the Fed. Their days were formed using insights from publicly available resources. External events were selected for their relevance to the fictional tale and are often approximately true. All of that and any events similar to her own life were modified to serve the fictional story.

Erma’s hope is that A Fed Spirit will inspire readers’ curiosity about the Fed and that it might serve as a gateway to reading an article here or there, perusing the Fed’s own resources, or tapping the wealth of experts’ nonfiction. But with caution as internet search results for the Fed can be overwhelming and dissonant as too many authors have mistaken the Fed’s complexity for conspiracy.

A Fed Spirit

Have you wondered who is “the Fed” that hikes and drops interest rates?

Lucy hopes you do. After haunting them for over one hundred years, she thinks introducing them to you will give purpose to her extended existence.

Lucy intertwines moments of her own life in the early twentieth century, when the Fed was new, with a story of the work lives of a few staff in one of the Federal Reserve Banks’ Research Departments in 2018 and 2019.

Stella, a longtime successful executive committed to public service, is one of these staff members. Another is Wendell, Stella’s new boss and the head of the Research Department. A PhD, he is suspicious of his department’s powerful non-PhDs, including Stella.

While the two clash over both common and uniquely-Fed workplace issues, Stella doesn’t realize the threat to her employment. When it takes shape and coincides with personal tragedy, she questions the worth of her lifetime commitment to the Fed’s mission.

​​​​​​​After leaving behind the fictional story, readers of A Fed Spirit will be haunted by the gap between how little some of us know about the Fed and how much we ought to know to improve our own finances and hold our elected officials accountable.