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Central Banks Have Work to Do to Regain Their 'Special Sauce'

By Fergal O'Brien
Bloomberg News
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The financial crisis, global recession, and a long, slow recovery have dented public faith in central banks and it's going to be a hard slog to win it back, according to the Bank of England's chief economist.

In a speech today, Andy Haldane said credibility and trust are the "secret sauce of central banking" and there is no quick fix to regain them. That's partly because of resentment among people about slow wage growth, faster inflation, and the perception that whatever spoils the economy offers haven't been shared equally.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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It's a familiar refrain from Haldane, who has previously described economics as insular and admitted its forecasting record has been questionable. He also famously compared economists before the 2008 financial crisis to Michael Fish, a U.K. weatherman who in 1987 wrongly predicted that a deadly hurricane wouldn't reach Britain.

"An economy or financial system without trust, history tells us, ceases to be a system," Haldane said. "An economic or financial policy maker without credibility, history tells us, ceases to be a functioning policymaker." ...

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