Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking

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Overview

"Not long ago, national central banks were endowed with wide-ranging authority, enormous prestige, and a high degree of independence. Today, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, rethinking their functioning and their modus operandi is both natural and needed. Howard Davies and David Green write on this issue with authority, reflecting their practical experience, political sensitivity, and high analytic skills."—Paul Volcker, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve and current chairman of the U.S. Economic Recovery Advisory Board

"Banking on the Future provides the most comprehensive and lucid analysis of the pressing challenges faced by central banks. The book clearly shows how monetary policy and financial stability concerns have drifted apart in recent years and the crucial role this dichotomy has played in the run up to the crisis. Davies and Green put forward precise, cogent, and practical recommendations for the future. It is urgent and important that policymakers ponder and act on these proposals."—Jacques de Larosire, chairman of the Strategic Committee of the French Treasury and former governor of the Banque de France

"An indispensable book for practitioners and students alike. The authors write from a depth of central banking experience, and have witnessed at close hand the disastrous consequences of separating monetary policy from financial regulation. They provide a convincing plan for reuniting the two."—William Keegan, senior economics commentator, Observer

"The great credit crisis of 2007-9 begs the question: how much do we need to rethink central banking? The explosive issues include whether central banks should lean against asset bubbles, whether inflation targeting needs to be reconsidered, and whether strong independence is compatible with the expanding responsibilities assumed by central banks. There is no one more reliable than Davies and Green for guiding us through this minefield."—Barry Eichengreen, author of The European Economy since 1945

"An extraordinary book that asks all the right and very difficult questions, and manages to suggest some of the answers."—Guido Tabellini, Universit Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan

"This is a timely book on an important subject. It represents a significant contribution to the literature on central banking, and draws on historical, political, economic, business, and sociological considerations."—Rosa M. Lastra, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London

"In the wake of recent financial disturbances, there have been many papers and books on what went wrong, and on what changes there have to be in the private financial sector and the behavior of regulators. There has, however, been very little written on the implications for central banks. This is an excellent, clear, and important book."—Geoffrey E. Wood, Cass Business School, City University London

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
[A] valuable, accessible volume. . . . This clear, nontechnical guide on the present and future of central banking from two eminent policy makers could not have come at a better time.
Australian Review of Public Affairs
We get an insider's view of the nuts and bolts of central banking, but not so inside that the authors are uncritical. They readily identify the pressure to change regulations or advice when regulators feel under pressure to display expertise in new issues. . . . These are snippets of insight that only critical insiders know how to capture.
— Dick Bryan
Financial Times - Ed Crooks
[T]he depth of its analysis will make Banking on the Future an important source of insights for years to come.
Financial World - Jane Fuller
Buy the book with confidence.
National Post - Andrew Allentuck
Books on central banking usually vie with pills as sleep inducers, but Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking is actually a page-turner.
Times Higher Education - Ian Main
In this forensic and engaging overview, Susan Hough presents a frank, entertaining and personal review of the history of ideas, practice, personalities and experience in the science of earthquake prediction. Although Hough is a respected scientist, she takes a journalist's viewpoint here, not shying away from legitimate criticism of those she regards as friends, and taking on the credulous at the edge of, or even beyond, the mainstream scientific.
Australian Review of Public Affairs - Dick Bryan
We get an insider's view of the nuts and bolts of central banking, but not so inside that the authors are uncritical. They readily identify the pressure to change regulations or advice when regulators feel under pressure to display expertise in new issues. . . . These are snippets of insight that only critical insiders know how to capture.
From the Publisher
Named one of Financial Times (FT.com)'s Books of the Year in Nonfiction Round-Up in the Business & Economics list for 2010

"[T]he depth of its analysis will make Banking on the Future an important source of insights for years to come."—Ed Crooks, Financial Times

"The best assessment yet of the role played by the leading western central banks—the U.S. Federal Reserve, the ECB and the Bank of England—in the run-up to the financial crisis and beyond, from two former insiders at the top level of UK policymaker."—
Financial Times (FT Critics Pick 2010)

"Buy the book with confidence."—Jane Fuller, Financial World

"Books on central banking usually vie with pills as sleep inducers, but Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking is actually a page-turner."—Andrew Allentuck, National Post

"In this forensic and engaging overview, Susan Hough presents a frank, entertaining and personal review of the history of ideas, practice, personalities and experience in the science of earthquake prediction. Although Hough is a respected scientist, she takes a journalist's viewpoint here, not shying away from legitimate criticism of those she regards as friends, and taking on the credulous at the edge of, or even beyond, the mainstream scientific."—Ian Main, Times Higher Education

"[A] valuable, accessible volume. . . . This clear, nontechnical guide on the present and future of central banking from two eminent policy makers could not have come at a better time."—
Choice

"A better title for this book would have been: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Central Banking and More. . . . Davies and Green provide much to inform and interest diverse audiences. . . .[I]t's a book that practitioners and students of central banking need to have on their shelf."—
Management Today

"We get an insider's view of the nuts and bolts of central banking, but not so inside that the authors are uncritical. They readily identify the pressure to change regulations or advice when regulators feel under pressure to display expertise in new issues. . . . These are snippets of insight that only critical insiders know how to capture."—Dick Bryan, Australian Review of Public Affairs

Financial World
Buy the book with confidence.
— Jane Fuller
National Post
Books on central banking usually vie with pills as sleep inducers, but Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking is actually a page-turner.
— Andrew Allentuck
Times Higher Education
In this forensic and engaging overview, Susan Hough presents a frank, entertaining and personal review of the history of ideas, practice, personalities and experience in the science of earthquake prediction. Although Hough is a respected scientist, she takes a journalist's viewpoint here, not shying away from legitimate criticism of those she regards as friends, and taking on the credulous at the edge of, or even beyond, the mainstream scientific.
— Ian Main
Financial Times
The best assessment yet of the role played by the leading western central banks—the U.S. Federal Reserve, the ECB and the Bank of England—in the run-up to the financial crisis and beyond, from two former insiders at the top level of UK policymaker.
Management Today
A better title for this book would have been: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Central Banking and More. . . . Davies and Green provide much to inform and interest diverse audiences. . . .[I]t's a book that practitioners and students of central banking need to have on their shelf.
Financial Times
[T]he depth of its analysis will make Banking on the Future an important source of insights for years to come.
— Ed Crooks
National Post
Books on central banking usually vie with pills as sleep inducers, but Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking is actually a page-turner.
— Andrew Allentuck
Management Today
A better title for this book would have been: All You Ever Wanted to Know About Central Banking and More. . . . Davies and Green provide much to inform and interest diverse audiences. . . .[I]t's a book that practitioners and students of central banking need to have on their shelf.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691138640
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,479,394
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Davies is director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously, he was chairman of the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority and deputy governor of the Bank of England. David Green has worked for almost forty years as a central banker and financial regulator, principally at the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority. Davies and Green are the authors of "Global Financial Regulation".

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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Abbreviations ix
Introduction 1
Chapter One: What Is Central Banking and Why Is It Important? 9
Chapter Two: Monetary Stability 23
Chapter Three: Financial Stability 52
Chapter Four: Financial Infrastructure 90
Chapter Five: Asset Prices 115
Chapter Six: Structure, Status, and Accountability 141
Chapter Seven: Europe: A Special Case 182
Chapter Eight: Central Banking in Emerging Market Countries 212
Chapter Nine: Financial Resources, Costs, and Efficiency 236
Chapter Ten: International Cooperation 252
Chapter Eleven: Leadership 270
Chapter Twelve: An Agenda for Change 285
Afterword 297
Notes 301
Index 317

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Glimpse into the Future of Central Banking

    Howard Davies and David Green share with their readers the lessons that they have drawn from their long career in central banking. Their main theme turns around the deep flaws that the credit crisis has revealed in the modus operandi of central banks and what to do about these flaws. To their credit, Messrs. Davies and Green make topics such as the structure and status of central banks, monetary policy, financial stability, and market operations and financial infrastructure, accessible to readers who are not directly involved into central banking. Messrs. Davies and Green make many comments on the Bank of England, the European Central Bank, and the U.S. Federal Reserve. Other central banks come into play only when their coverage is useful to better apprehend the workings of central banking worldwide. The chapter dedicated to central banking in the emerging markets is too general to be of much use to anyone interested in this topic. The main value of this book probably lies in the chapter about asset prices. Messrs. Davies and Green rightly denounce the passive attitude of central banks towards asset price bubbles. The authors quote Steve Roach on this subject: "The lack of monetary discipline has become the hallmark of an unfettered globalization. Central banks have failed to provide a stable underpinning to world financial markets and to an increasingly asset-dependent global economy . As the increasing prevalence of bubbles indicates, a failure to recognize the interplay between the state of asset markets and the real economy is an egregious policy error." Therefore, Mr. Roach calls for a shift away from "one-dimensional fixation on CPI-based inflation." Unfortunately, some central bankers apparently have not learned much from the recent past when they do not spare any efforts to re-inflate asset price bubbles such as housing and the financial markets. In summary, Messrs. Davies and Green succeed in their endeavor in making central banking accessible to an uninitiated audience eager to learn more about the impact of central banks' modus operandi on their (financial) well-being.

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