The twentieth century has seen the rise of modern central banking. At its close, it is also witnessing the first steps in the decline of the role of some of the most famous of these institutions. In this volume, some of the world’s best known specialists examine the process whereby central banks emerged and asserted themselves within the economic and political spheres of their respective countries. Although the theory and the political economy that presided over their creation did not show great divergence across borders, a considerable institutional variety was nevertheless the result. Among the many factors responsible for this diversity, attention is drawn here not only to the idiosyncrasies of domestic financial systems and to the occurrence of political shocks with major monetary repercussions, such as wars, but also to the peculiarities of each economy and of the political and social climate reigning at the time when central banks were created or formalized. The twelve essays cover European, Asian and American experiences and many of them use a comparative approach.
Contents: Introduction; Part I: The Origins of Central Banking: Bank of England autonomy: a retrospective, Michael Collins and Mae Baker; Part II: National Experiences with Central Banking: The delayed modernisation of the central banks of France and Spain in the twentieth century, Olivier Feiertag and Pablo MartÃn AceÃ±a; Post-war central banking reform: a German-Japanese comparison, Carl L. Holtfrerich and Toru Iwami; Central banking in Sweden and Finland in the twentieth century, Tarmo Haavisto and Lars Jonung; The Bank of Portugal's first century: from 1846 to the Second World War, Jaime Reis; The Bank of Italy from its foundation to the 1950s: institutional aspects, Cosma Onorio Gelsomino; The emergence of national central banks in Central Europe after the break-up of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, Aurel Schubert; US and Canadian central banking: the triumph of personalities over politics?, Pierre L. Siklos; The emergence of central banking in Latin America: are evolutionary models applicable?, Carlos Marichal and Daniel DÃaz Fuentes; Part III: International Institutions and Central Banking: The International Monetary Fund and central banking, Harold James; Sixty-five years of central bank cooperation at the Bank for International Settlements, Gunther D. Baer; Part IV: The Emergence of Modern Central Banking, 1918 to the Present: Concluding comments, Barry Eichengreen; Index.