The Only Game in Town: Central Banking as False Hope
Our central bankers are not a priesthood. Often deployed in critiques of central banking mystique or in genuflection to the incantations they still occasionally wheel out to keep markets on an even keel, the metaphor’s resonance lies in its appeal to higher authority. As Hobbes observed, late-medieval priests and bishops saw themselves as beyond the control of political authority, owing their duty only to God (or the Pope). As latter-day priests, central bankers would owe a duty only to Stability; and, as carriers of that Truth, they would “detect . . . right in themselves.”) If stability is a precondition for a democratic state, then wouldn’t their higher duty be to do whatever they could to preserve stability and, so, the state itself? Our response to that is no. Mario Draghi’s burden, as I perceive it, was that he is not serving a fully fledged democratic state, endowed with the powers to save itself without his organization’s levitational aid to the monetary system.