Bank of England tries hand at ‘pop-economics’ in new book

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The Bank of England has turned its hand to mainstream book writing with the launch of a new “pop-economics” title to help demystify the subject.

From gold lenders in Babylon 4,000 years ago to the rising cost of Freddo chocolate bars, the book – entitled Can’t We Just Print More Money? – uses examples of economics in action to answer 10 “bamboozling” questions, such as What actually is money?

It is a fresh foray for the Bank into the world of pop-economics that burst onto the scene in the mid-2000s with the hugely successful publication of Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

The Bank’s new book will be available in May (Bank of England/Cornerstone Press/PA)

He said: “The economy – and economics – is all around us, in the decisions we all make every day at home, at work, or in the shops.

“Despite this, economics is generally not well understood, and nor are economists.

“We hope that, as well as being an entertaining and informative read, Can’t We Just Print More Money? will help demystify economics and encourage people to learn how we can use it to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing the world today.”

Touching on subjects such as the rising cost of living, it comes at a crucial time for the Bank as it battles to rein in inflation, which is set to soar to a 30-year high of 6% by April.

Publisher Cornerstone Press, part of Penguin Random House, said the Bank’s new book is an “authoritative and surprisingly witty” guide to economics.

It is written by two young economists at the Bank – Rupal Patel, who works in the Bank’s Financial Stability directorate, and Jack Meaning, who works in the Chief Economist’s office.

It marks a very different style of writing for the Bank, whose experts have traditionally written for the world of academia, though former Bank governor Mark Carney won an award last month for his 2021 book, Value(s).

The Bank has pledged to use the publishing advance and future royalties for Can’t We Just Print More Money? to buy copies of the book for thousands of state schools libraries and to support the Bank’s wider education programme.

The title will be available in paperback for £14.99 on May 19, alongside audiobook and eBook versions.

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