In years gone by, central banks were supposed to be the guardians of monetary discipline – vigilant in protecting citizens against inflation and currency debasement. They were rarely known to smile.
Bankers used to quake every time the governor of the Bank of England twitched an eyebrow. Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker developed a fearsome reputation for taming inflation in the early 1980s.
But the times are changing to suit economic circumstances, as anxious politicians bend central bankers to their will.