1st Edition

Central Banks in Organizational Networks Entangled Market Actors

By Christoph F-D. Wu Copyright 2023
    192 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This inter-disciplinary and wide-ranging study unravels the social processes of decision-making at the interface of central banks and financial market participants, and thereby raises important questions about responsible central bank governance and its obligations to stakeholders in society. The book challenges commonly held assumptions on how central banking works and critically assesses unconventional monetary policy and its underlying theoretical tenets.

    Drawing from rich, multi-sited fieldwork and data collection, this research monograph offers an in-depth look into the financial market practices around the quantitative easing programmes of the European Central Bank and focuses on the uneasy role of modern central banks as active market participants. The author introduces concepts from social network theory and develops a novel method to study organisational networks in the context of financial markets. An analysis of the European Central Bank’s social, organisational and financial networks is sketched over the course of multiple chapters. The concluding chapters dive into documentary analysis and the extensive material from qualitative interviews with senior investment professionals about the strategies and adaptive processes around the lived experience of quantitative easing.

    The winner of the British Sociological Association’s prestigious Philip Abrams Memorial Prize, this book is a vital resource for social scientists researching organisations in financial markets, providing theory, concepts, empirical data and practical implications. It will be of interest to academics and graduate students in economics, sociology and management/organisation studies, as well as practitioners at central banks and in asset management.

    1. The field of actors: central banks and the asset management industry, 2. Network theory? Social and organisational networks in financial markets, 3. Corporate interlocking networks and portfolio holdings: a method to study organisational networks in financial markets, 4. Portfolio rebalancing and imitation: central bank influence and network dynamics, 5. Home bias and homophily in the sovereign debt markets of the eurozone, 6. Central banks and expert networks: the case of the European Central Bank’s Bond Market Contact Group, 7. Adaptive processes, strategies and network behaviour, 8. Bringing it all together: entangled market actors, responsible central banking and stakeholder engagement


    Christoph F-D. Wu, PhD, is an organisational sociologist, currently working as a senior researcher in organisational wellbeing at Norwich Business School. Previously, he gained 14 years of business experience in senior investment management and business development roles. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge and is a holder of the CFA Institute Certificate in ESG Investing.

    "Wu uses his unprecedented access to the elite networks that move markets as much as central bank policies to let us into how quantitative easing came to be." — Hendrik Vollmer, Warwick Business School