events archive

Central banking: behind the mystique

6:45pm, Thursday 10 October 2019, Remark Events, 18 Leather Lane, Holborn, London EC1N 7SU

Central banks have somehow moved out of the shadows to become institutions that can make the lead story on the national news. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, makes high-profile pronouncements not only about interest rates, but on Brexit and climate change, too. However, few people understand exactly what central banks are or what they do.

This discussion will seek to demystify the workings of these powerful bodies. It will cover their basic functions as well as examining why these have grown enormously in scope over the years. It will also consider the implications for democracy of allowing such influential state institutions to be independent of political control. Finally, it will look at whether central banks have reached the zenith of their economic potency. After over a decade of ultra-low interest rates, are central banks losing their ability to shore up the West’s sluggish economies?


Daniel Ben-Ami
journalist; author, Ferraris for All: in defence of economic progress and Cowardly Capitalism


When the next crisis comes, don’t blame the central bankers, Phil Mullan, spiked, 8 July 2019

The strangling of European democracy, Daniel Ben-Ami, spiked, 23 August 2019

Bank of England - About

How independence came about, video featuring Ed Balls for 2017 Bank of England conference on twentieth anniversary of independence

Brown gives independence to the Bank of England over interest rates, Guardian, 7 May 1997

Unelected Power, by Paul Tucker (Princeton 2018), chapter 1

Sentinel of the Monetary Order: Ordoliberalism and The Making of The German Bundesbank, Sander Tordoir, 2016