They don’t talk like they used to

From Walter Bagehot’s ‘Lombard Street‘ (1873), quoting then Governor of the Bank of England on its conduct in the Panic of 1866:

This house exerted itself to the utmost – and exerted itself most successfully – to meet the crisis. We did not flinch from our post. When the storm came upon us, on the morning on which it became known that the house of Overend and Co. had failed, we were in as sound and healthy a position as any banking establishment could hold, and on that day and throughout the succeeding week we made advances which would hardly be credited

Compare this to Andrew Bailey’s recent speech at Jackson Hole:

In June we increased the stock of QE purchases, but at a slower pace. And in August we introduced forward guidance, stating that the Committee does not intend to tighten monetary policy until there is clear evidence that significant progress is being made in eliminating spare capacity and achieving the 2% inflation target sustainably… We also made clear that our box does include other tools, including the possibility of negative rates. We have used private sector asset purchases through the corporate bond programme, longer-term liquidity provision to banks with targeted lending incentives, and direct purchasing of newly issued commercial paper to supplement market-based lending channels. We are not out of firepower by any means, and to be honest it looks from today’s vantage point that we were too cautious about our remaining firepower pre-Covid.

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