Masaaki Shirakawa on lessons from crisis and how to reform central banks

Former governor reflects on a turbulent 40 years at the Bank of Japan

Masaaki Shirakawa in 2012
Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters/Alamy

Looking back at the boom of the 1980s and the subsequent crash, how important was that in shaping your thinking as a central banker?

The boom in the 1980s and the aftermath profoundly affected my thinking, not only on monetary policy, but also on the role of central banks and the relationship between a central bank and democracy or society.

I learned so many lessons, four in particular. First, bubbles will happen. It sounds like stating the obvious today, but 40 years ago, I was not thinking they

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