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The Money Minders
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  • Jagjit Chadha, National Institute for Economic and Social Research
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Book description

In the crises of the past fifteen years, central bankers have become big public players in a drama that affects all our lives, involving financial market crashes, public health threats and devastating economic downturns. Having played a lead role in the global financial crisis and the coronavirus crisis, they are now being asked to broaden their appeal. But the key aim has always been one of simply ensuring monetary and financial stability. In this book, NIESR director Jagjit Chadha unpacks the world of central banking, explaining in accessible language the analytical techniques, policy toolkits or simple story-telling that they use to understand the economy, to implement monetary policy and to communicate their decisions to key decision-makers and the wider public.


'This wonderful book illuminates, entertains, explains and demystifies that most essential but rarely-understood entity, money. Above all, it demonstrates the link between money and the capacity of the state to tackle any collective problems: money fundamentally matters and so, therefore, do its minders in central banks. This book describes how central bankers think about their task, what models and evidence they use to make decisions about interest rates and other tools at their disposal - and also sets out how they should think about it.'

Diane Coyle - University of Cambridge

'A book like this has been needed for a long time: a primer on money-credit theory and practice for the interested generalist, which is up to date, informed by theory without drowning in abstraction, engages with the hazards of policy making, and takes institutions seriously.'

Paul Tucker - Harvard Kennedy School

'Through a fascinating series of old stories, lessons from economic history, and modern models, the author describes how central banking learned to provide stability in the value of money and financial stability. It is a must read for all students of money matters.'

Michael Bordo - Rutgers Economics

'This is a great book for anyone studying monetary economics in the UK. It will be perfect for undergraduates, and even graduates would benefit from it. It covers all the main issues in a clear and accessible style, with a great use of diagrams and appropriate quotations. It provides a good read, and the analysis is well done and sensible throughout.'

Charles Goodhart - London School of Economics

‘… central bankers have limited political legitimacy. Here Chadha echoes Paul Tucker, former deputy governor of the Bank of England, about the need for central bankers to leave responsibility for picking winners and losers to politicians. The best central bankers can hope to achieve is ‘stability’. Chadha finishes his book with a warning about how long it will take for the Bank of England to recover from its exertions in response to the financial crisis and the pandemic; he also calls for a broad reconsideration of its mandate. Both issues are at the top of the political agenda in Britain. Chadha’s argument is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand that debate.’

Source: Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, vol. 64, no. 5, October–November 2022

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  • 1 - Of Gold and Paper Money
    pp 1-28


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