100 books like The Evolution of Central Banks

By Charles Goodhart,

Here are 100 books that The Evolution of Central Banks fans have personally recommended if you like The Evolution of Central Banks. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History

Max Gillman Author Of The Spectre of Price Inflation

From my list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember in high school going to the gas pump and filling up during the oil crisis of the 1970s. Inflation was everywhere, but I had no idea what that was. I learned something about this in college and then in Congress as a legislative aide. I remember distinctly a conversation in Congress on how we were going to pay for these huge deficits that arose out of the Reagan tax cuts, all the while when inflation was peaking at that time. I had no idea. I then spent my PhD working in monetary economics to show the effect of inflation on the economy and have not stopped yet.

Max's book list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge

Max Gillman Why did Max love this book?

Friedman, a Nobel-winning former Economics professor, writes brilliantly and playfully, and students of economics love to read him. Yet he delves into the heart of the monetary problems that have been confronted historically. This he uses to shed light on how to conduct monetary policy today.

He ranges across the whole of American history. For example, the failure of the Continental Congress’s currency occurred since it was printed to finance the Revolutionary War when there was no federal government and no federal tax revenue. This led to the new US Constitution and the ability to raise taxes, and a stable currency that was backed by gold and silver.

With the Civil War, the US Treasury printed money called “greenbacks” and suspended conversion to gold and silver during the War, but re-established convertibility in 1879 at the pre-War rate. Friedman shows how this convertibility led to prolonged, hugely damaging deflation for…

By Milton Friedman,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Money Mischief as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"A lively, enlightening introduction to monetary history…from monetarism's most articulate apostle."—Kirkus Reviews"The Oliver Stone of economics" (Chicago Tribune), Nobel Prize laureate Milton Friedman makes clear once and for all that no one, from the local corner merchant to the Wall Street banker to the president of the United States, is immune from monetary economics. In Money Mischief, Friedman discusses the creation of value: from stones to feathers to gold. He outlines the central role of monetary theory and shows how it can act to ignite or deepen inflation. Through colorful historical episodes, he demonstrates the mischief that can result from…


Book cover of Lombard Street, a Description of the Money Market

Max Gillman Author Of The Spectre of Price Inflation

From my list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember in high school going to the gas pump and filling up during the oil crisis of the 1970s. Inflation was everywhere, but I had no idea what that was. I learned something about this in college and then in Congress as a legislative aide. I remember distinctly a conversation in Congress on how we were going to pay for these huge deficits that arose out of the Reagan tax cuts, all the while when inflation was peaking at that time. I had no idea. I then spent my PhD working in monetary economics to show the effect of inflation on the economy and have not stopped yet.

Max's book list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge

Max Gillman Why did Max love this book?

Lombard Street is the classic statement of how central banks began functioning to insure the private bank system against bank panics. Walter Bagehot wrote this at the time of a revolution in banking that came about after the Joint Stock Companies Act of 1862 allowed private banks to have limited liability. Banking then boomed in England, and the Bank of England went from being a private bank to a bank also serving the Crown of England, and finally into a central bank as we see them today. 

The Bank of England would hold reserves for the entire private banking system should they need them in times of bank panic, which were periodic in those days (and still today). At the same time, the Bank provided the money supply through note issue. This created a money and banking authority that was efficient in its practice of stabilizing the money and financial…

By Walter Bagehot,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lombard Street, a Description of the Money Market as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work.

Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be preserved, reproduced, and made generally available to the public. To ensure a quality reading experience, this work has been…


Book cover of Monetary Regimes and Inflation: History, Economic and Political Relationships

Max Gillman Author Of The Spectre of Price Inflation

From my list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember in high school going to the gas pump and filling up during the oil crisis of the 1970s. Inflation was everywhere, but I had no idea what that was. I learned something about this in college and then in Congress as a legislative aide. I remember distinctly a conversation in Congress on how we were going to pay for these huge deficits that arose out of the Reagan tax cuts, all the while when inflation was peaking at that time. I had no idea. I then spent my PhD working in monetary economics to show the effect of inflation on the economy and have not stopped yet.

Max's book list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge

Max Gillman Why did Max love this book?

Bernholz, a renowned Swiss Economics professor, builds upon Friedman to provide an unparalleled view of how budget deficits and high government spending end up being financed by the “inflation tax” of printing money to cover the deficits.

Throughout history back some two thousand years, Bernholz describes ancient and modern monetary regimes based on metallic standards and fiat money unbacked by any metal. He analyzes how increased money supply causes moderate, high, and hyper-inflations throughout this history. He provides dozens of historical examples of money and inflation in times of crises including war.

Bernholz adds the dimension of how international exchange rates are affected during rising inflation and when deflation ultimately occurs. He shows how different “laws” regulate behavior, with good money driving out bad money until the bad money collapses in value and then good money is created or imported that drives out the bad money to its extinction. Bernholz…

By Peter Bernholz,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Monetary Regimes and Inflation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Acclaim for the first edition:
'Peter Bernholz's book brings together his comprehensive studies of inflation from the fourth century to the present, showing their common elements and their differences. This is an impressive work that bankers, central bankers, economists and laymen can read with pleasure and profit. I recommend it highly.'
- Allan H. Meltzer, The Hoover Institution, Stanford

Exploring the characteristics of inflations and comparing historical cases from Roman times up to the modern day, this book provides an in depth discussion of the subject. It analyses the high and moderate inflations caused by the inflationary bias of political…


Book cover of The End of Alchemy: Money, Banking, and the Future of the Global Economy

Max Gillman Author Of The Spectre of Price Inflation

From my list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I remember in high school going to the gas pump and filling up during the oil crisis of the 1970s. Inflation was everywhere, but I had no idea what that was. I learned something about this in college and then in Congress as a legislative aide. I remember distinctly a conversation in Congress on how we were going to pay for these huge deficits that arose out of the Reagan tax cuts, all the while when inflation was peaking at that time. I had no idea. I then spent my PhD working in monetary economics to show the effect of inflation on the economy and have not stopped yet.

Max's book list on Walter Bagehot’s challenge

Max Gillman Why did Max love this book?

King was the head of the Bank of England during the financial crisis of 2008. He declared full deposit insurance for the entire United Kingdom private banking system, with no deposit premiums required. This ended the run on the banks that spilled over into the streets of the UK during the crisis, when the Bank of England at first decided not to take care of Northern Rock, a private retail bank that was headed towards insolvency.

King provides a whimsical and sharp review of the private and central bank system before and after the crisis that builds very much on Charles Goodhart and Walter Bagehot. King laudably faults economists and the Economics profession for thinking that establishing negative real interest rates worldwide is the answer to central bank crises (in his newly added Introduction to the paperback edition of his 2016 hardback by the same name). Yet King sides with…

By Mervyn King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The End of Alchemy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Something is wrong with our banking system. We all sense that, but Mervyn King knows it firsthand; his ten years at the helm of the Bank of England, including at the height of the financial crisis, revealed profound truths about the mechanisms of our capitalist society. In The End of Alchemy he offers us an essential work about the history and future of money and banking, the keys to modern finance.

The Industrial Revolution built the foundation of our modern capitalist age. Yet the flowering of technological innovations during that dynamic period relied on the widespread adoption of two much…


Book cover of Virtuous Bankers: A Day in the Life of the Eighteenth-Century Bank of England

Christian R. Burset Author Of An Empire of Laws: Legal Pluralism in British Colonial Policy

From my list on the rise of the British Empire.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a legal historian with a particular interest in eighteenth-century Britain and the United States. My research has investigated the history of arbitration, historical connections between law and politics, and changing attitudes to the rule of law. Since 2018, I’ve been a professor at Notre Dame Law School, where I teach courses in legal history, civil procedure, conflict of laws, and the rule of law.

Christian's book list on the rise of the British Empire

Christian R. Burset Why did Christian love this book?

Empire, Incorporated makes it clear that corporations mattered in shaping the British Empire. But how did they actually operate?

Virtuous Bankers offers a window into an ordinary workday at the Bank of England, one of the most important institutions in eighteenth-century England. In the process, the book provides new insights into the nature of public credit and the growth of the British state, as well as an engrossing introduction to everyday life in Georgian London. 

By Anne Murphy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Virtuous Bankers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An intimate account of the eighteenth-century Bank of England that shows how a private institution became "a great engine of state"

The eighteenth-century Bank of England was an institution that operated for the benefit of its shareholders-and yet came to be considered, as Adam Smith described it, "a great engine of state." In Virtuous Bankers, Anne Murphy explores how this private organization became the guardian of the public credit upon which Britain's economic and geopolitical power was based. Drawing on the voluminous and detailed minute books of a Committee of Inspection that examined the Bank's workings in 1783-84, Murphy frames…


Book cover of Economy of Words: Communicative Imperatives in Central Banks

Daromir Rudnyckyj Author Of Beyond Debt: Islamic Experiments in Global Finance

From my list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an economic anthropologist and teach classes and conduct research in this area. Economic anthropology is different from economics in that it questions many of the things that economics takes for granted. For example, most economists assume that allocating goods through the market by buying and selling is the best way to organize human communities. Economic anthropologists have shown, in contrast, that many societies have been organized according to other exchange principles. In fact, some of the oldest communities in the world, such as Sumer and Babylon, based their economies around elaborate systems of redistribution, in which every citizen was guaranteed food shares.

Daromir's book list on how anthropology helps us understand the economy

Daromir Rudnyckyj Why did Daromir love this book?

Most of us think of economics and economic policy making the same way that we do about other scientific fields, such as physics or engineering. Like those sciences, economics uses numerical models and mathematical analysis to explain how the world works.

In contrast, this book reveals how economics is a very different kind of science from physics or engineering. Holmes shows how economists and economic policy-makers rely on language as much as, or even more than, numbers to achieve their desired policy goals. 

By Douglas R. Holmes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Economy of Words as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Markets are artifacts of language - so Douglas R. Holmes argues in this deeply researched look at central banks and the people who run them. Working at the intersection of anthropology, linguistics, and economics, he shows how central bankers have been engaging in communicative experiments that predate the financial crisis and continue to be refined amid its unfolding turmoil - experiments that do not merely describe the economy, but actually create its distinctive features. Holmes examines the New York District Branch of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, and the Bank of England, among others, and shows…


Book cover of Promoting Global Monetary and Financial Stability: The Bank for International Settlements after Bretton Woods, 1973-2020

Perry Mehrling Author Of Money and Empire: Charles P. Kindleberger and the Dollar System

From my list on the forces making the global money system.

Why am I passionate about this?

My interest in money (understanding it, not so much making it!) dates from undergraduate days at Harvard, 1977-1981, exactly the time when the dollar system was being put back together under Volcker after the international monetary disorder and domestic stagflation of the 1970s. The previous decade had very much disrupted the personal economics of my family, perhaps in much the same way that the Depression had disrupted Kindleberger’s, and set me off on a lifelong quest to understand why. Forty years and four books later, I feel like I have made some progress, and hope that my book can save readers forty years in their own question to understand money!

Perry's book list on the forces making the global money system

Perry Mehrling Why did Perry love this book?

This book tells the story of the global expansion of the dollar system after the collapse of Bretton Woods from the perspective of the BIS, the global central bank.

Created in 1930, as a last-ditch effort to backstop the sterling system (among other reasons), the story of the BIS runs parallel to the story I tell in my book.  This morning in class I asked my students, most of them international relations majors, if any of their other courses had mentioned the BIS, and not a single hand went up. Hence this recommendation!

Kindleberger worked at the BIS 1939-1940 and might well have made it his permanent home had not World War II intervened, and sent him back home to the Fed.  

By Claudio Borio (editor), Stijn Claessens (editor), Piet Clement (editor) , Robert N. McCauley (editor) , Hyun Song Shin (editor)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Promoting Global Monetary and Financial Stability as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As the global organisation of central banks, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has played a significant role in the momentous changes the international monetary and financial system has undergone over the past half century. This book offers a key contribution to understanding these changes. It explores the rise of the emerging market economies, the resulting shifts in the governance of the international financial system, and the role of central bank cooperation in this process. In this truly multidisciplinary effort, scholars from the fields of economics, history, political science and law unravel the most poignant episodes that marked this period,…


Book cover of The Federal Reserve: A New History

Richard Burdekin Author Of China's Monetary Challenges: Past Experiences and Future Prospects

From my list on if you didn’t think money matters.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I studied economics, I remember being told in church that “money is the root of all evil.” Much later, when I was interviewing for my first professor-level position, I remember one of the interviewers saying, “I suppose everyone is interested in money.” We are not talking here about a fixation on accumulating money, but rather understanding the profound impact monetary policy has upon everyone in society. These readings show how pervasive the effects of bad monetary policy can be and how important it is to keep track of what is going on. Start with the first two chapters of Friedman’s Money Mischief and see if you can stop! 

Richard's book list on if you didn’t think money matters

Richard Burdekin Why did Richard love this book?

This book not only offers an authoritative account of what the Federal Reserve has been up to since its founding in 1913 but also the rationale for why they did what they did. 

One particularly telling observation is made with respect to Arthur Burns, who was the Federal Reserve Chair during 1970-1978: “Burns always attributed [inflation] to nonmonetary sources.” Paul Volcker’s actions during 1979-1987 demonstrated how the restoration of monetary stability was a sine quo non for ending the 1970s inflationary spiral. No matter how necessary the Federal Reserve’s later massive 2020 monetary expansion may have been, it was imperative that this bulge in money also be unwound. 

A worrying element, however, is that, in the midst of all this, none of today’s Federal Reserve policymakers “ever mentions money.”

By Robert L. Hetzel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Federal Reserve as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An illuminating history of the Fed from its founding through the tumult of 2020.

In The Federal Reserve: A New History, Robert L. Hetzel draws on more than forty years of experience as an economist in the central bank to trace the influences of the Fed on the American economy. Comparing periods in which the Fed stabilized the economy to those when it did the opposite, Hetzel tells the story of a century-long pursuit of monetary rules capable of providing for economic stability.

Recast through this lens and enriched with archival materials, Hetzel's sweeping history offers a new understanding of…


Book cover of Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World

Alan Bollard Author Of Economists at War: How a Handful of Economists Helped Win and Lose the World Wars

From my list on how economists agree and disagree amongst each other.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an economics professor at Victoria University of Wellington. As a previous Secretary of the New Zealand Treasury and Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, I have had quite a bit of experience watching economists’ ideas succeed and fail in the real world. I have written a number of books about policy economists and their lives in peace and wartime. (And a couple of novels too!)

Alan's book list on how economists agree and disagree amongst each other

Alan Bollard Why did Alan love this book?

This is the story of four (European and American) central bankers fighting the dramas and crises during the lead-up to the Great Depression. When crisis looms, Bank of England Governor Montagu Norman puts on a disguise and boards a cruise ship to consult with his friend Benjamin Strong in New York. If only financial crises could still be fought that way today! I liked it because I used to be a central bank governor myself!

By Liaquat Ahamed,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Lords of Finance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"Erudite, entertaining macroeconomic history of the lead-up to the Great Depression as seen through the careers of the West's principal bankers . . . Spellbinding, insightful and, perhaps most important, timely." -Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"There is terrific prescience to be found in [Lords of Finance's] portrait of times past . . . [A] writer of great verve and erudition, [Ahamed] easily connects the dots between the economic crises that rocked the world during the years his book covers and the fiscal emergencies that beset us today." -The New York Times

It is commonly believed that…


Book cover of End the Fed

Michael G. Pento Author Of The Coming Bond Market Collapse: How to Survive the Demise of the U.S. Debt Market

From my list on fiscal destruction of America’s foundation of freedom.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion is to prepare clients' investments for the impending debt crisis. That is why I started Pento Portfolio Strategies and created the Inflation/Deflation and Economic Cycle Model. The US faces an entirely new paradigm – due to onerous debt, central banks are forced to either massively monetize the nation's debt or allow a cathartic deflationary depression to reset the economy. Our government is now compelled to seek a condition of perpetual inflation to maintain the illusion of prosperity and solvency. Our central bank is now walking the economy on a tightrope between inflation and deflation. This will require a vastly different and active investment strategy to fit the new dynamic.

Michael's book list on fiscal destruction of America’s foundation of freedom

Michael G. Pento Why did Michael love this book?

This book explains the unchecked power of the Federal Reserve.

Perfect for those who don't have the time to read the 608-page The Creature From Jekyll Island. In this book, Paul explains in very simple terms that the Federal Reserve has been given absolute power over the most essential element of our economy – the price and supply of money.

Formed by a small group of powerful bankers who argued a central bank would stabilize the currency, over the past century since its creation, the Fed has not only destabilized the currency but also created a series of wealth-destroying asset bubbles.

It has also led to a trenchant and destructive wealth gap between the rich and the poor. 

By Ron Paul,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked End the Fed as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During the 2008 presidential campaign over 4,000 students gathered at the University of Michigan to hear Republican candidate Ron Paul speak. As he began to address the topics of monetary policy and the coming depression, a chant came from the crowd, 'End the Fed! End the Fed!' As dollar bills were set on fire, it became clearer than ever that the real problem, one that nobody in the media was talking about, was the central bank - an unconstitutional entity and a political, economic and moral disaster. Most people think of the Federal Reserve as an institution that has always…


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