EVENT: Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking & the Regulatory State
- Sir Paul Tucker, Chair Systemic Risk Council
- 9.00am-10.15am, Tuesday 12th June 2018, Committee Room 14, House of Commons
Compared with a couple of generations ago, huge areas of government policy are delegated to technocrats insulated from day-to-day politics. Independent regulators cover everything from competition policy to public broadcasting.
Since the financial crisis, central bankers have emerged as the third great pillar of unelected power alongside the judiciary and the military.
These technocrats pull the regulatory and financial levers of our well-being, yet unlike democratically elected leaders, their power does not come directly from the people and they cannot be voted out when, inevitably, policy goes wrong from time to time.
If we are not careful, this could slowly chip away at public confidence in our democratic system of government. Paul Tucker will lay out principles needed to address that risk, keeping Technocracy in its place.
Paul Tucker will draw on his many years in domestic and international policymaking, using examples from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, and the European Union, and describing the UK as having become almost casual about who holds power. Blending economics, political theory, political science and public law, he will explore what the values of democracy, the rule of law and constitutionalism demand for delegated but politically insulated power to be legitimate. Tucker explains how the regulatory state need not be a fourth branch of government free to steer by its own lights, and how central bankers and others should emulate the best of judicial self-restraint.
Like it or not, unelected power has become a hallmark of modern government. Sir Paul Tucker will discuss how to harness it to the people’s purposes.
Paul Tucker is a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and chair of the Systemic Risk Council. For more than thirty years, he was a central banker and regulator at the Bank of England, sitting on its monetary policy, financial stability and prudential policy committees, and the Bank for International Settlements. Internationally, he was a member of the G20 Financial Stability Board, chairing its group on too big to fail; and a director of the Bank for International Settlements, chairing its Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems. His book Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State was published by Princeton University Press in Spring 2018.
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