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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: December 2010

Preface

Summary

The chapters in this collection attempt to survey and analyze some of the key issues in central banking as of early 2009. Clearly, the ongoing global financial crisis has, as this is written, raised a whole set of new questions that are likely to be debated for years to come. Nevertheless, readers will notice that, in 2007, when a conference entitled “Frontiers in Central Banking” was held in Budapest at the National Bank of Hungary, the various papers, most of which appear in the present volume, already began to debate the larger questions of concern to central banks then and to monetary policy more generally today. Issues thought to be resolved, such as the role of central bank independence, have again resurfaced, as demonstrated by debate in the U.S. Congress over Federal Reserve Bank actions in 2008 and 2009, and how to hold that institution more accountable. As this book went to press, a bill was making its way through the U.S. Congress requiring the Fed to become more transparent. The state of the art as it pertains to central bank transparency is also addressed in the present volume. Other “big” questions, still unresolved, such as how to think about financial-system stability, its measurement, and its implications, are also front and center in this volume, as is the future of a monetary policy strategy focused on delivering low and stable inflation and the prospects of replacing it with price-level targeting.