Former central banker Paul Tucker is the chair of the Systemic Risk Council, a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and author of Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State. 


Political Economy

Till Time’s Last Stand or How Standing Still is Valuable but Uncomfortable

Kynaston Book Review, Central Banking Magazine

There are lots of histories of the Bank of England, but few that are likely to hold a general reader’s interest. More accurately, few bring out the passions, intelligence, public spiritedness, self-interestedness and foolhardiness with which real-life central bankers conduct struggles for and against ideas, each other, government ministers and mandarins, banks and other private actors, public soothsayers, let alone the vicissitudes of the economy and finance. And perhaps even fewer histories bring out what those struggles are often really about: central banking’s purpose and place in government.


Reining in Technocracy to Increase Democratic Legitimacy

The Regulatory Review

In the United States, the marginal lawmaker in many fields is an unelected technocrat, sitting in a court or administrative agency. This is because the U.S. Congress has powerful incentives to delegate without setting clear goals or objectives, and the Supreme Court has incentives to let such delegations stand if government is to proceed. The effect is to leave judges at all levels with a choice between “deferring” to agency policy or imposing their own.