"Tumultuous Times" by Masaaki Shirakawa

Tumultuous Times Central Banking in an Era of Crisis Masaaki Shirakawa

Yale Program on Financial Stability Series
Publication date:
28 Sep 2021
Yale University Press
536 pages: 235 x 156mm
47 b-w illus.
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A rare insider’s account of the inner workings of the Japanese economy, and the Bank of Japan’s monetary policy, by a career central banker

The Japanese economy, once the envy of the world for its dynamism and growth, lost its shine after a financial bubble burst in early 1990s and slumped further during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. It suffered even more damage in 2011, when a severe earthquake set off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. However, the Bank of Japan soldiered on to combat low inflation, low growth, and low interest rates, and in many ways it served as a laboratory for actions taken by central banks in other parts of the world. Masaaki Shirakawa, who led the bank as governor from 2008 to 2013, provides a rare insider’s account of the workings of Japanese economic and monetary policy during this period and how it challenged mainstream economic thinking.

Masaaki Shirakawa is distinguished professor at Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan and was governor of the Bank of Japan from 2008 to 2013 and vice chairman of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements from 2011 to 2013. He is also a member of the Group of 30.

"Economists and policymakers in the West used to lecture Japan. With global economic stagnation, now is the time to learn from Japan. There is no better teacher than Masaaki Shirakawa."—Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England

“Masaaki Shirakawa offers a unique insight into the working of one of the world’s most important central banks. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in Japan’s experience and the lessons it carries for countries now facing Japan-style problems.”—Raghuram G. Rajan, author of The Third Pillar: How Markets and the State Leave the Community Behind

"In his masterful book, Masaaki Shirakawa takes us inside the room at the Bank of Japan. We learn keen insights from a leader who never sought attention, but whose ideas proved critical to global policy responses. Shirakawa reminds us—perhaps, most importantly—that the tumultuous times for central banks are not over."—Kevin Warsh, former Governor of the Federal Reserve Board