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The Bank of England has missed its opportunity for greater transparency
 When Gordon Brown gave the Bank of England independence from political control just four days after Labour swept to power in May 1997, it was with a fanfare.

The surprise announcement – it had not been a policy or the subject of debate in the run-up to or during the General Election – was described at the time as the “most radical shake-up” in the bank’s 300-odd year history.

“I want to set in place a long-term framework for economic prosperity,” boomed the then Chancellor. “I want to break from the boom bust economics of previous years.”

Brown’s policy – which Tony Blair claimed 13 years later in his memoirs was his own idea all along - set the Bank on a new path. Having long been the enabling arm of HM Treasury, here was the opportunity to really set the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street free.

Brown viewed the independent Bank as being in line with his own monetarist principles. With the Bank given independence to set interest rates, the Treasury could not be accused of interfering with the market.
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