Reading Group on Central Banks at the Crossroads

Course Information

Course Number
Curriculum Level
Areas of Study
International and Comparative Law, Law and Economics
Additional Attributes
New Course

Section 001 Information


Section Description

The years 2020-2021 will remain in this history of central banking as a milestone in the transformation of central banking: with over $10 trillion ($3 trillion for the Federal Reserve) to avoid a systemic liquidity crisis, a new model of central banking is emerging. More than ever the question of the legitimacy of central banking is raised and substantial issues deserve a closer examination.
This reading group will address the behavior of the world’s main central banks: Federal Reserve, Peoples Bank of China, European Central Bank, Bank of England and the Bank of Japan.
It will focus on the multiple roles of central banks and the way possible conflicts of interest
Emerge : monetary policy, quantitative easing, banking regulation, central bank digital currency, climate change policies and risk and balance sheet management.
The reading group will resolve around one book; Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State by Paul Tucker, written in 2018. Paul Tucket is a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England.
This quote illustrates the book’s perspective.

“Central bankers have emerged from the financial crisis as the third great pillar of unelected power alongside the judiciary and the military. They pull the regulatory and financial levers of our economic well-being, yet unlike democratically elected leaders, their power does not come directly from the people. Unelected Power lays out the principles needed to ensure that central bankers, technocrats, regulators, and other agents of the administrative state remain stewards of the common good and do not become overmighty citizens.”

School Year & Semester
Spring 2022
JGH 502
Class meets on
  • Friday
3:45 pm - 5:45 pm
Method of Evaluation
J.D Writing Credit?
Minor (automatic)
LLM Writing Project
Upon consultation

Course Limitations

Instructor Pre-requisites
Instructor Co-Requisites
Recommended Courses
Other Limitations