ECONOMYNEXT – Central bank independence and sound money will be under discussion at a public event organized by the Sri Lanka chapter of the Bastiat Society today, May 30, as island is recovering from the worst episode of monetary instability since independence.
The forum will feature Lawrence H White, Professor of Economics at George Mason University in the US, and W A Wijewardene, former Deputy Central Bank Governor, of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
“The discussion will compare the current system against alternative systems and explore the relationship between such banking systems and sound money,” the organizers said.
White specializes in the theory and history of banking and money. He is the author of “The Clash of Economic Ideas” (2012), “The Theory of Monetary Institutions” (1999), “Free Banking in Britain” (2nd ed., 1995), and “Competition and Currency” (1989).
Wijewardene has been speaking on central bank independence in Sri Lanka long before it became a topic of wider discussion, but also on accountability.
In April, a Central Bank Independence and Other Matters, which includes a collection of his orations on the subject over the years as well a recent development was published.
The discussion comes as independent central banks in the West have created the worst inflation since the 1970s and early 1980s and are apparently unaccountable to parliaments and the public.
The early 1980s also saw the first wave of external debt crises in so-called soft-pegged countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe in particular as the US and UK tightened policy to end the Great Inflation.
The discussion will be held at 7.00 pm at the Lakmahal Community Library and those interested can register online, the organizers said. (Colombo/May30/2023)