The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest by Edward Chancellor - review by Howard Davies

Howard Davies

The Credit Trap

The Price of Time: The Real Story of Interest


Allen Lane 398pp £25

The period between putting a book to bed and its publication date is a time of high anxiety for an author, especially one writing about politics or the economy. There is always the fear that one’s analysis and argument will be rendered irrelevant by events, or even entirely invalidated.

Edward Chancellor can sleep easily. His core thesis, that artificially low interest rates, administered by interventionist central banks, will eventually generate financial instability or galloping inflation, or both, is becoming more persuasive by the day. It is crystal clear that the Federal Reserve and its European acolytes misjudged financial and economic conditions in 2021. They are now rapidly changing course, but this shift did not begin before inflation had begun to edge up towards double figures.

However, The Price of Time is not principally a commentary on the current economic situation. There is a brief discussion of Covid-19, which focuses on the liquidity crisis of March 2020, but it comes in the postscript. The core of the book is a history of interest rates,

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