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  1. Seðlabanki
  2. Related content
  3. In defence of central banks
  4. The Challenges for Central Banks - Stein - - Economic Affairs - Wiley Online Library

This volume reflects a multilateral effort to help close the gap in our knowledge in meeting the critical challenges presented by these significant changes, in particular, those confronting central banks in Latin America.

Various strategies applied in the past to achieve price stability

The related issue of spillovers and monetary independence is taken up more fully in the next section. The final section presents chapters that reexamine macroprudential and monetary policies and policy frameworks from the perspective of central bank staff members from the region. The Central Banking Supervision Pack currently provides more than supervision business activities and supervision reports.

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And so rich countries and many poorer ones shifted to a system in which politicians set a broad goal—steady prices—and left independent central bankers to realise it. In a single generation billions of people around the world have grown used to low and stable inflation and to the idea that the interest rates on their bank deposits and mortgages are under control.

Today this success is threatened by a confluence of populism, nationalism and economic forces that are making monetary policy political again. President Donald Trump has demanded that interest rates should be slashed, speculated about firing the boss of the Federal Reserve and said he will nominate Stephen Moore and Herman Cain, two unqualified cronies, to its board.

Brexiteers rubbish the competence and motives of the Bank of England, while in Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been in a tug-of-war with the central bank.

Related content

But dangerous forces are afoot that could have alarming consequences for economic stability. The problem of politicisation last became acute in the s.

After the post-war Bretton Woods currency system collapsed, central banks failed to tame racing inflation because politicians, who pulled the strings, were reluctant to bear the short-term cost of higher unemployment. Two decades of runaway prices and crises led to a new orthodoxy that central banks should be given operational autonomy to pursue an inflation target. In the euro zone, Japan and Britain central banks became legally independent in the s. One is populism. Most now hold huge portfolios of government bonds while at the same time policing the financial industry.


In defence of central banks

And the record of central banks is far from perfect. All this makes it easier to view them as political.

Meanwhile, the memory of the crises that led to independence has faded. Pressure is manifesting itself in different ways in different places. Mr Trump has launched an attack on the Fed. Although his legal authority to sack Jerome Powell, its chairman and a Trump appointee, is not clear, if he wins re-election in he will be able to nominate a new Fed chairman and two more governors.

The Challenges for Central Banks - Stein - - Economic Affairs - Wiley Online Library

In Europe a flurry of job changes threatens to lower the calibre of decision-making at the ECB and feed underlying disagreements. By the end of the year, three members of the six-strong executive board and eight of the 19 national governors, who also vote on rates, will have left. The most notable of these is Mario Draghi, its head.