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Central Banking, Monetary Theory and Practice

Essays in Honour of Charles Goodhart, Volume One

Edited by Paul Mizen

Celebrating the contribution that Charles Goodhart has made to monetary economics and policy, this unique compendium of original papers draws together a highly respected group of international academics, central bankers and financial market regulators covering a broad range of issues in modern monetary economics. Topics discussed include: central bank independence; credibility and transparency; the inflation forecast and the loss function; monetary policy experiences in the US and the UK; the implications of Goodhart’s Law; the benefits of single versus multiple currencies; and money, near monies and credit.
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Charles Goodhart


of ‘Goodhart’s Law: its origins, meaning and implications for monetary policy’ Charles Goodhart While I am grateful to Alec Chrystal and Paul Mizen for their paper, nonetheless I feel that they treat the subject with more respect than it really deserves. It was, after all, only a throw-away line, but it is no doubt better to be remembered for a jest, than not at all. And it does have some merits. One of the events that I best remember in the Bank was towards the end of 1973, when broad money, sterling M3 as it was then, was growing at a rate that was causing all kinds of public, political and press commentary, and problems. The request came down from the Prime Minister that we in the Bank were to control the rate of growth of the money stock, but we were to do so in a way that did not involve any increase in interest rates. Moreover, the Bank had recently, in 1971, introduced the new regime of ‘Competition and Credit Control’ whereby, with exclamations of self congratulation, we removed all the direct controls, the quantitative ceilings on bank lending. So what were we going to do? Anyhow John Fforde left this particular problem in my lap, and I came up with the ‘Corset’, which was just sufficiently complicated and based on incremental changes in interestbearing (eligible) liabilities (IBELs), so that it was not immediately apparent to everyone that this was just another rather fancy quantitative direct credit...

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