A knowledgeable assessment of a secretive, sometimes arrogant fraternity, this report lifts the veil of obfuscation surrounding central banks (e.g., the U.S. Federal Reserve, Germany's Bundesbank, Bank of England), which regulate a nation's money supply, issue currency and monitor banks and other financial institutions. Deane, the Economist's former deputy business editor, and Pringle, former editor-in-chief of Banker, contend that central banks' power and influence have risen during the past decade. This increasing freedom from governmental interference, they add, has brought risks such as currency competition and a greater potential for fraud and corruption, but also a growing involvement in policy issues such as the reconstruction of emerging democracies in Central and Eastern Europe and the formation of the European Union. Covering central banking from China and Japan to South Africa to the Third World, this survey draws lessons for citizens who want to make central banks more accountable to the public in achieving price stability. (Feb.)
"Far too little is understood generally about the role and responsibilities, let alone the capabilities, of contemporary central banks," say Dean, an economic consultant, and Pringle, director of an economic research and consulting firm. The authors seek to correct this by thoroughly covering the current state of the 20th-century phenomenon of central banks in terms of the European Central Bank (Maastricht Treaty), the collapse of the European exchange rate mechanism, and the growing independence of many Asian central banks. The authors cover such increasingly vital central bank operations as exchange rates, interest rates, money supply, inflation control, and price and currency stability from a world perspective induced by global competition and technological advances such as telephone banking and electronic means of payment. Despite the apparent abstruseness of the topic, the authors make the concepts accessible and try to show how this globalized, deregulated system holds together and where it is headed. Business collections will want this.-Alex Wenner, Indiana Univ. Libs., Bloomington
The authors decipher the internal mechanisms of the financial fraternity of the central banks that monitor the global economy, focusing on the banks' origins, their pivotal role in monetary policy, and price stability. The discussion includes the recent formation of the European Central Bank as well as notable banking figures such as the Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and the Bundesbank's Hans Tietmeyer. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Interest rate forecasts are as common a staple on the nightly news as weather forecasts, and most of us are at least aware that the Federal Reserve Bank has a hand in setting those rates. But few understand the full impact of changing interest rates, and fewer still know the complete extent to which activities of the Fed affect our daily lives. Deane and Pringle target a general audience with this book on the role of central banks--such as our Federal Reserve System or the Bank of England or Germany's Bundesbank. Both authors now do consulting work. She was previously an editor with the "Economist"; he, with the "Banker". They note the many differences among the various central banks, detail the all-important role of monetary policy, examine the pivotal function attached to central banks in emerging market economies, and highlight the need for monetary authorities in the new global, technologically driven financial markets.