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Banking on the Future: the fall and rise of central banking

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Howard Davies and David Green
Princeton University Press (May 2010)

The crash of 2008 revealed that the world's central banks had failed to offset the financial imbalances that led to the crisis, and lacked the tools to respond effectively. What lessons should central banks learn from the experience, and how, in a global financial system, should cooperation between them be enhanced? Banking on the Future provides a fascinating insider's look into how central banks have evolved and why they are critical to the functioning of market economies. The book asks whether, in light of the recent economic fallout, the central banking model needs radical reform.

Supported by interviews with leading central bankers from around the world, and informed by the latest academic research, Banking on the Future considers such current issues as the place of asset prices and credit growth in anti-inflation policy, the appropriate role for central banks in banking supervision, the ways in which central banks provide liquidity to markets, the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of central banks, the culture and individuals working in these institutions, as well as the particular issues facing emerging markets and Islamic finance. Howard Davies and David Green set out detailed policy recommendations, including a reformulation of monetary policy, better metrics for financial stability, closer links with regulators, and a stronger emphasis on international cooperation.

Exploring a crucial sector of the global economic system, Banking on the Future offers new ideas for restoring financial strength to the foundations of central banking.

  • Howard Davies is director of LSE. He was chairman of the United Kingdom's Financial Services Authority and deputy governor of the Bank of England.
  • David Green has worked for almost forty years as a central banker and financial regulator, principally at the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority.

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'Not long ago, national central banks were endowed with wide-ranging authority, enormous prestige, and a high degree of independence. Today, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, rethinking their functioning and their modus operandi is both natural and needed. Howard Davies and David Green write on this issue with authority, reflecting their practical experience, political sensitivity, and high analytic skills.'
Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve and current chairman of the US Economic Recovery Advisory Board

'Banking on the Future provides the most comprehensive and lucid analysis of the pressing challenges faced by central banks. The book clearly shows how monetary policy and financial stability concerns have drifted apart in recent years and the crucial role this dichotomy has played in the run up to the crisis. Davies and Green put forward precise, cogent, and practical recommendations for the future. It is urgent and important that policymakers ponder and act on these proposals.'
Jacques de Larosière, chairman of the Strategic Committee of the French Treasury and former governor of the Banque de France

'An indispensable book for practitioners and students alike. The authors write from a depth of central banking experience, and have witnessed at close hand the disastrous consequences of separating monetary policy from financial regulation. They provide a convincing plan for reuniting the two.'
William Keegan, senior economics commentator, Observer 

Banking on the Future