CENTRAL banks have become the most powerful economic actors on the planet. In part, this is because governments have been so reluctant, since 2009, to use fiscal policy to stimulate their economies. In part, also, it is because the powers of central banks are vast, especially since they have discovered the ability to create money via quantitative easing (QE). This gives these undemocratic bodies the ability to redistribute wealth, from savers to borrowers, and from cautious types who keep the bulk of their money in cash to the better-off who own equities and corporate bonds.

At times, you can sense the hauteur with which bankers view lesser mortals. Insomniacs like your blogger may have listened to Ben Broadbent, the deputy governor of the Bank of England, on the BBC’s Wake Up to Money programme this morning (about 30 minutes into the programme). He addressed his interviewers like a headmaster lecturing some dim 14-year olds. In response to a couple of questions, he pointed out that he had dealt with the point on the same programme a year ago (“Haven’t you…Continue reading

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