This chapter presents an introduction to modern central banking. It focuses primarily on three issues: the issue of transparency; monetary policy decision making by committees; and the relationship between central banks and the financial markets. The chapter reveals that the central banks of the world are now trying to make themselves understood, rather than leaving their thinking shrouded in mystery, and argues that although the three issues discussed are among the most important facing central bankers today, less than a decade ago, they were not so important for many economists. It argues that thinking about how central banks should conduct their business has undergone changes which can aptly be termed revolutionary—although, as befits the discreet profession of central banking, the revolution proceeded quietly and has gone almost unnoticed.
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