Paul Tucker is the author of Unelected Power and Global Discord, a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, and a former central banker.


BOOK REVIEW: Making a Modern Central Bank: The Bank of England 1979–2003

When in 1997 the Bank of England regained independence, the long arc of its 20th century history reached closure: from great power before the 1930s, to decades sidelined as the Treasury’s operational branch, through reacquired authority during the late 1970s and 1980s, and finally back to insulation from quotidian politics. The destination was not inevitable, and the job of this book, covering the quarter century from 1979 to 2003, is to tell the tale of how a remarkable group built an organization fit to be granted independence when the politicians and mandarins ran out of monetary wheezes. It has the right title (almost) and an appropriate cover, as Eddie George—perhaps the finest central banker in the generation after Paul Volcker—embodied the transition from old to new.