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Alternatives to NeoliberalismTowards Equality and Democracy$
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Bryn Jones and Mike O'Donnell

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447331148

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447331148.001.0001

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Reform from within? Central banks and the reconfiguration of neoliberal monetary policy

Reform from within? Central banks and the reconfiguration of neoliberal monetary policy

Chapter:
(p.139) Seven Reform from within? Central banks and the reconfiguration of neoliberal monetary policy
Source:
Alternatives to Neoliberalism
Author(s):

Grahame F. Thompson

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447331148.003.0008

At the level of national economies, Grahame Thompson probes the shifting role of central banks, particularly the Bank of England, in handling the manifest inadequacies of free-market economics in the wake of the 2008 financial crash. Although the Bank has not explicitly disavowed market orthodoxy, Thompson finds that there have been distinct shifts away from the practices initiated by the rise of neo-liberal monetary policy forty years ago. While seeking to pilot the UK’s financial system into a leading role in the international economy, the Bank, like its counterparts elsewhere, has also become both the key manager as well as regulator of the national economy. Its championing of ‘quantitative easing’ to try to stimulate economic growth could, argues Thompson, be compatible with the more radical ‘people’s QE’ advocated by the Corbyn camp in the Labour Party. While such a conversion may currently be beyond the mindset of the mandarin class, its possibility and the new-found pragmatism and powers of the Bank, suggests a non-neoliberal government and a reformed Bank, could pursue a more socially sensitive and progressive path.

Keywords:   2008 financial crash, Bank of England, central banking, financial system, quantitative easing

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