Author(s): Will Bateman
Monetary finance (money creation by central banks to fund public expenditure) is a high-profile part of economic, political and policy debates concerning the legitimacy of central banks in liberal economies and democracies. This article makes a distinctively legal contribution to those debates by analysing the legal frameworks governing monetary finance in three prominent central banking systems between 2008 and 2020: the Federal Reserve System, the Eurosystem and the Bank of England. It begins by explaining the law governing central bank and national treasury relations in the United States, the EU and the UK. It then examines how that law operated under the unconventional monetary policies adopted by central banks in response to the financial crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The article concludes by reflecting on the challenges monetary finance presents to the sui generis position of central banks in the liberal constitutional order.
Research theme: Regulatory Law and Policy