Book Review: Rupal Patel and Jack Meaning, ‘Can’t we just print more money – Economics in ten simple questions’, Cornerstone Press, London, May 2022.
The Bank of England is the first central bank to carry out the set of functions which are today associated with a central bank. It is not the oldest, an honour which goes to the Riksbank established in 1668. After its establishment in 1694 as an issuer of currency and as a government bank, the Bank of England started adding functions over the years. It was only in the second half of the 19th century, when it became a lender of last resort, that the Bank of England came to be acknowledged and regarded as a central bank. Continue reading “Can’t we just print more money?”
What do the Bank of England, Benedict Cumberbatch, Nandan Nilekani, the Second World War, mathematical biology, Mettur Dam, the humble punkah, and Chatrapur have in common? For added measure, one might add the Madras Railway, Tungabhadra Bridge, Coonoor, the German U-Boats, cryptography, and Bletchley Park, once the top-secret home of British code breakers. The answer is Alan Turing, mathematician and philosopher. He contributed to cryptography and mathematical biology, among other subjects, and is the father of modern computer science. Continue reading “Alan Turing – The Madras Connection”
Central bank balance sheet as a policy tool: past, present and future
Mr. Andrew Bailey, Governor, Bank of England, delivered the opening remarks on the second day of the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole Symposium, on 28 August 2020. He spoke on “Central bank balance sheet as a policy tool: past, present and future”, based on a paper (see here) with the same title, prepared jointly with Jonathan Bridges, Richard Harrison, Josh Jones and Aakash Mankodi. Continue reading “Andrew Bailey at Jackson Hole”
(Note: A much shorter version of this article appeared in Mint dated 13 July 2020. You can read it here.)
In 1872, when Phileas Fogg, Jules Verne’s enigmatic character, wagered with his whist partners at the Reform Club, including an Assistant Governor of the Bank of England, to travel round the world in eighty days, he issued a cheque for £20,000, drawn on Baring Brothers. That was security enough. That was the standing of Baring Brothers, which always paid his cheques “on sight and his account remained invariably in the black.” Moreover, he was accepted as a member of that distinguished society on the recommendation of Baring Brothers with whom he had an unlimited overdraft limit. Continue reading “25 years after Barings: Have the lessons been learnt?”
In this article, published in 1998, I argued that there is no evidence to suggest that separation of banking supervision from central banks will enhance the effectiveness of either supervision or monetary policy. On the contrary, it could be detrimental to both. The article was published in the Op-Ed page of Economic Times dated 5 October 1998. Continue reading “Separating Banking Supervision”