Edward Hadas is Economics Editor at Reuters Breakingviews. He joined Breakingviews in both 2004 and 2011, with a year in between at the Financial Times as Assistant Editor of the Lex column. Before becoming a journalist, he worked for 23 years as an equity analyst in Europe and the US. He has written a book, Human Good, Economic Evils: A Moral Approach to the Dismal Science (ISI Books, 2007), and a course-book about political philosophy for the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham. Edward has degrees from Columbia University, Wadham College, Oxford and the State University of New York at Binghamton. He has a website, edwardhadas.com. Follow Edward on Twitter @edwardhadas
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In cash terms, the manipulation of supposedly objective reference rates and prices is a petty crime: relatively small gains for a few and microscopic losses for many. Ethically, though, the tolerance of untrustworthy behaviour makes the industry look particularly bad.
Sure, the troubled UK lender has made some big mistakes. But user-owned banking makes economic sense for most types of lending. Wrong-headed economic theory undermined the mutual model in many countries. The trend should - and could - be reversed.
When world leaders talk about monetary policy this week, they should discuss how to replace the discredited shibboleths of central banking, namely narrow inflation targeting and political independence. It’s time for more nuanced - and controversial - goals and tools.
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