ILF-SAFE Guest Lecture by Sir Paul Tucker - "Unelected Power: The Quest for Legitimacy in Central Banking and the Regulatory State" on 24 April 2018

Central banks and other regulators occupy a peculiar place in our Western democracies. They are intended to be “independent”, that is, insulated from day to day politics, yet they can wield enormous powers, as demonstrated in their response to the great financial crisis ten years ago. While no one seriously wishes that they had not intervened to stabilize our economies, the question of whether their independence gives rise to a “democratic deficit” has been raised increasingly in Europe and the United States.

Sir Paul Tucker, Chair of the Systemic Risk Council and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, has reflected deeply on the issues involved.  At the Guest lecture held on 24 April 2018, Sir Tucker shared his thoughts on them in a broad ranging blend of political economy, theory and political science in the context of public law, considering how central banks and other regulators, including antitrust and utility regulators have acquired their position, how this can be justified in light of the principles of the rule of law, constitutionalism and democracy and what principles might best be applied to define the limits of democratic delegation of power to them. He was joined in the discussion of his views by Professor Hans-Helmut Kotz, Senior Fellow at the Center for Financial Studies and former Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

Sir Paul Tucker is chair of the Systemic Risk Council, and a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. From 2009 to late 2013 he was Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, having joined the Bank in 1980. He was a member of all of the Bank of England's statutory policy committees: the Monetary Policy Committee, Financial Policy Committee (vice chair), Prudential Regulatory Authority Board (vice chair), as well as of the Court of Directors.


Discussant: Professor Hans-Helmut Kotz

Professor Hans-Helmut Kotz is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Financial Studies and Program Director at the SAFE Policy Center, Goethe University, Frankfurt and Resident Fellow at Harvard’s Center for European Studies and Visiting Professor in the Economics Department. Prior to joining CFS, he was a Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Bundesbank from 2002 to 2010, in charge of Financial Stability, Markets and Statistics.