These wise men that give fools money get themselves a good report – after fourteen years’ purchase
Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
Central banks should be the first line of defence against crisis. They are probably the most important institution within an economy; their existence is based on protection of the value of a currency. Central banks are charged with a role of caution. As the saying goes: ‘Take away the punchbowl just as the party gets going.’ These institutions are the guardians against financial excess. Yet all the major central banks contributed to the build-up of excesses that led to the recent crisis.
After Paul Volker’s chairing of the Federal Reserve ended in 1987, central banks ...