The Nature and Evolution of Central Banking

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Don´t miss this week´s lecture, Econ storie part 2

Since the recent American financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis, central banks have become prominent features in the media landscapes. New and radical central bank strategies have been unveiled: Quantitative Easing, mass-purchasing of securities, and the introduction of negative interest rates.

While central banks thus have seemingly emerged as heroes of the economic system, boldly devising new ways to ensure economic stability, there has also emerged new criticism. Some claim that poor central bank policies led to the economic crises, and want to take revolutionary steps to dismantle the central bank system altogether.

Others question the validity of the guidelines of central banking. The economic models used to provide a framework for monetary policy are criticized as being too imprecise or downright wrong. Political independence of central banking and the necessity of inflationtargeting – after decades of massive consensus behind it – are also questioned. The very notion that it is possible to have a non-political monetary policy is becoming increasingly tenuous with the mounting political tensions within the Euro zone. Central banking has thus become a both prominent and contested feature not only in the economic but also political landscape. This raises the need for increased awareness and understanding of central banking. How should we understand central banking as a phenomenon within the context of long-term global economic policy? What are central banks? Why do they exist? What do they do? How have they developed to the shape they have now? The lecture aims to discuss the nature and evolution of central banking within the political context of the global economy.

Gabriel Söderberg holds a Ph. D. in Economic History from Uppsala University. He has been co-writing on numerous publications on the economic history of the 20th century and has researched on Oxford University. He is also co-authoring a forthcoming book that investigates the influence of economic doctrines on policy norms in recent decades, through analysis of the history of the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Place: Lecture hall B, the Lindell hall

Date: 19/3

Time: 15.00-17.00

Entrance: Members for free, others 20 SEK. Membership 50 SEK