Central Bank Independence – Lessons from History

In the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis 2007-2009 central banks’ mandates have been expanded, and their tasks have increasingly brought them into territories normally handled by political authorities. In addition to price stability, there are concerns for sustainable growth, financial stability and a well-functioning payment system, which these days finds itself in rapid transition into a digital future many places. On top of this come concerns for climate, inequality and challenges which may be piling up post-Covid. These developments have taken many central banks, and their balance sheets, into unchartered territories.

In May 2018, the Bank of England hosted “The Old Lady in Retrospect: A workshop on lessons from the Bank of England’s History and Future Directions for Research”. The workshop took place in the home of Montagu Norman, the governor of Bank of England from 1920 to 1944.

Inspired by this event, Norges Bank set out to organize in 2020 a workshop to reflect on lessons from history of central banks and central banking as they pertain to current central bank issues. We chose as a moniker for this workshop Nicolai Rygg, the governor of Norges Bank from 1920 to 1946.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic the 2020 workshop had to be canceled. In its place Norges Bank has organized a Nicolai Rygg 2021 virtual panel debate on Central Bank Independence – Lessons from History. The event took place on Thursday 8 April 2021, 17:00-18:30 and was recorded on video. You’ll find the participants’ introductory remarks available in a blog format, here at Bankplassen blog.

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