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Bank of England

Where does the bank of England come from?

  • The bank of England is the second oldest central bank in the world, the oldest being the Sveriges Riksbank (Bank of Sweden), established in 1668.
  • Before the central bank was formed, the English Government had trouble borrowing money after the 1690 Battle of Beachy Head. They needed to rebuild their naval fleet. 
  • The Bank of England was formed in 1694 based on William Paterson's ideas as a private bank called "Governor and Company of the Bank of England" with long-term banking privileges including the issue of notes
  • The lenders would give the government cash (bullion) and also issue notes against the government bonds, which can be lent again. The £1.2m at 8% needed was raised in 12 days; half of this was used to rebuild the Navy.
  • The charter was renewed in 1742, 1764, and 1781.

Tour of the bank of England

On a tour of the bank of England, it was noted that each banknote takes an average 4p to print. The difference between the face value of the note goes to the treasury (Government). Each note printed devalues all other notes in circulation, the difference should go to the savers who's savings are declining in value. At the very least the government could issue all savers a notice how much to expect their savings purchasing power to go down by.

There is a perverse incentive for the Government to let the bank of England print money to raise revenue. If any citizen printed notes for an purpose they would be arrested for counterfeiting, but the Government may do so for any purpose no matter how ridiculous or wasteful.

Also the fact they are printing money is a form of theft, if someone bought oil off you that had been watered down, or sold you 3kg of goods that weighed less, it would be considered fraud or theft no matter the reason for it. But if the government does so for any reason dilute the money supply it can get away with it.