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The growing interest in Bitcoin – driven by yet more price records – has begun to draw attention to its energy usage and environmental cost. Both creating Bitcoin and transacting it are extraordinarily energy-intensive, and investors who prioritise ESG concerns are beginning to notice this.
For much of the last 30 years, it has been a good time to be a senior central banker. Over that period central banks have grown in stature, prominence and power, and the very top central bankers have become household names. The next ten years look like being less easy for them.
As every January, economists have been giving their assessment of the state of the world and predictions for what the future holds. And what emerges is that the economics profession is largely all at sea, with as wide a range of forecasts as I can ever remember.
There is a disconnect between ever larger FX reserves at central banks and ever greater calls on national treasuries to finance the aftermath of the pandemic and the fight against climate change. It is time to stop hoarding reserves for tomorrow’s crises and consider using them for today’s.