Monday, June 24, 2013

New Book Blasts the BIS, Past and Present
Adam LeBor's new book, Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank That Runs the World, is about the central bank of the central banks. The BIS was created by the governors of the Bank of England and the Reichsbank in 1930 to handle reparation payments imposed on Germany after World War I. Protected under an international treaty, it is legally beyond the reach of any government or jurisdiction. Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its high cylindrical tower in Basel.

LeBor finds lots of reasons to attack the role of the BIS in the past and in the present. These include its cooperation with the Nazis and its role in promoting the euro. He makes a good case, but overstates it. The BIS isn’t a secret financial power covertly running global finance. It’s more like a clubhouse for central bank members only.

Like its members, it has a staff of macroeconomists who write lots of working papers and publish quarterly and annual reports. They aren’t shy about criticizing the policies of their members. See, for example, our June 25 post: BIS Tells Central Banks to Ease Off.

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