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Unelected Power


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About the Author

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 and the Bank for International Settlements. He lives in London.


"A book about central banking that begins with Britain's vote to leave the European Union, America's election of Donald Trump as president and Continental Europe's rising populism is starting in the right place. That alone gives Paul Tucker's Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State a claim as one of the more perceptive books on his subject in recent years."---Joseph C. Sternberg, Wall Street Journal
"A comprehensive and thoughtful guide to the limits of . . . unelected power."---Peter Thal Larsen, Reuters Breakingviews
"[It] shows how central banks have become a huge part of what [Tucker] calls the administrative state."---Daniel Ben-Ami, Spiked
Unelected Power . . .
runs the gamut from philosophy, to politics, to economics and back again. This is much more than a policymaker's set of memoirs, this is a manual for righting some wrongs."---Mark Blyth, Rhodes Center Podcast
"A terrific book."---Anil Padmanabhan, liveMint
"Tucker's synthesis of economics, law, political science, and political philosophy is prodigious, and his experience on the front lines of fighting the global financial crisis is imposing. And yet, what is most distinctive about the book is its humility. Tucker's worry that he and his ilk have become 'overmighty citizens' is palpable, and he takes seriously the idea that bureaucrats must ultimately be servants rather than masters. . . . His attitude comes from a kind of modern sense of noblesse oblige, heavy on the obligation. Let us hope Tucker can inspire others who wield unelected power to feel and act on this sense as much as he does."---Philip A. Wallach, American Interest
"One of Foreign Affairs' Picks for Best of Books 2018"
"Tucker is refreshingly upfront about central bankers' acquisition of power."---Desmond King, Financial Times
"One of Marketwatch's Nonfiction Best of 2018 Books"
"[As] Paul Tucker . . . discusses in [his] masterful recent book . . . the argument for democratic delegation is a subtle one."---Dani Rodrik, Project Syndicate
"There is much to admire in the ambition of Tucker's argument, and in the clarity of his analysis." * Survival *
"Tucker has advanced public understanding by explaining why legitimacy is essential for central banks and elucidating the problems of achieving it. Unelected Power is a serious and important piece of work, which students of central banking cannot ignore."---William Allen, Financial World
"Candidates to succeed [Governor Carney] . . . should work their way through Unelected Power. They will then have some thinking to do."---Christopher Fildes, Standpoint
Unelected Power
] is a welcome contribution to current debates on central bank independence. . . . [Tucker's] vision of central bank independence is likely to be invoked and contested in the years to come."---Jens van 't Klooster, Economics and Philosophy
"Tucker is refreshingly honest about the problem: across a range of different countries, central bankers have become 'overmighty citizens'. The contract between them and the people they are supposed to serve needs to be rewritten."---Ed Conway, The Times
"Profoundly important. . . . [Tucker's] practical experience with the tensions he addresses, combined with his distance from conventional academic disciplines, makes his writing both more accessible and more convincing than much of what is produced by administrative-law specialists and political scientists. . . . In the wake of the financial crisis of 2008, policymakers continue to reassess the ways in which government and the financial sector interact. Democratic institutions are facing a reappraisal in light of the widespread populism of the past few years. Tucker's arguments ought to be carefully considered. Of the many books written by those involved in responding to the financial crisis, his may deserve the longest shelf life."---Lawrence Summers, Washington Post
Unelected Power
is likely to be a standard reference work for those thinking about the design of central banks for decades to come. Many legislators could no doubt benefit from it too."---Michael Reddell, Central Banking Journal
"This is an admirably written book, very enjoyable to read, to be strongly recommended to anyone interested in central banking and its place in our economic and political systems. The principles enunciated by the author are convincing and clear."---Ernst Baltensperger, Journal of Economics
Unelected Power
brings Tucker's experience and intellect to bear on a controversial issue that has hitherto been underexplored."---Martin Vander Weyer, Literary Review
Unelected Power
] is of fundamental importance to anyone interested in the future of liberal democracy."---Felix Martin, New Statesman
"[Tucker] has produced this long and meaty book, which is all the better for not focusing simply - as too many central bankers do - on central banks. . . . Unelected Power is likely to be a standard reference work for those thinking about the design of central banks for decades to come. Many legislators could no doubt benefit from it too."---Michael Reddell, Central Banking Journal
"Paul Tucker . . . [has] published a massive, thoughtful account . . . [which] sets out some bold [principles] for first order agencies, like the Bank of England."---Anthony Barnett, openDemocracy
"Would Greta Thunberg enjoy Tucker's book? Maybe not, but she might benefit from reading it . . . . Any solution will have to be driven by, and underpinned by, a political process. After reading Tucker's book, Greta may realise that this, too, is good."---Benedict King, FiveBooks
"In this important books, Paul Tucker, a former deputy governor of the Bank of England, analyses where and how to delegate . . . responsibilities, and where and when such delegation risks undermining democratic legitimacy itself."---Martin Wolf, Financial Times

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