Bank of England

The Bank of England is setting up ‘citizen’s councils’ across the UK

The big idea: trust people more, and they'll trust you too.

The Bank of England announced that it’s setting up councils across the UK, made up of members of the public, to help it learn what the economy is really like.

The Bank of England is the UK’s central bank. Like other central banks around the world, its main role is to ensure that the financial system remains stable, and that the economy functions as the bank thinks it should do: unemployment low, high.

So why would they need any help from ordinary citizens in understanding the economy? The place is staffed with loads of PhD-trained economists and publishes endless reports on how the economy is doing – surely they've got in under control.

The problem is, the bank’s chief economist Andy Haldane said, the bank actually has a lot to learn about the economy. Too often, they'll analyse the economy based on what they know about the subject from their formal training – but that doesn't include much of actually hearing from the people in the economy, including the voices of people struggling all over the country.

They've literally just announced this policy, so we're not sure yet how it's going to pan out. But the idea is regional councils all over the UK which come together on a regular-ish basis to discuss what the Bank should be doing. The idea is that convening these councils will tackle what the Bank describes as “twin deficits”. A) People don’t understand economics. B) People don’t trust economists.

It’s a no-brainer: by putting trust in people, they’ll be more likely to put trust in you. Cue cheesy nineties balad.

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