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Westminster Insider

Is the Bank of England really a secret political player?

Season 14, Ep. 3

Just how much power do the economists of Threadneedle Street really wield? As the Bank of England grapples with whether to keep interest rates at an all time high, host Sascha O’Sullivan goes on a mission to find out.

In this week’s episode, she speaks to those who have been at the very heart of Westminster's relationship with the Bank for the last three decades.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss tells Sascha exactly why she believes Bank of England economists were attempting to pull apart her mini-budget and "take her down."

Former shadow chancellor and Gordon Brown adviser Ed Balls explains how the Bank's independence came about in 1997, and suggests some of the people sitting on the Monetary Policy Committee have developed a spot of group think in their decision making.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation and former adviser to Alistair Darling, talks about how the 2008 global financial crisis changed the powers the Bank could deploy in times of emergency.

And Andy Haldane, the former chief economist for the Bank of England for more than 30 years, reveals how close to a political intervention the then-Governor Mark Carney came during the Brexit years and how, after the pandemic, the Bank's economists missed inflation coming down the track.

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