Losing Autonomy: The Norwegian Central Bank During the Second World War
Author: Einar Lie
In the mid‐twentieth century a number of central banks around the western world lost their operational autonomy and were placed under government control. The origin of these policy changes can be traced to the intellectual and political developments of the interwar era in addition to the introduction of the Bretton Woods monetary system. The Norwegian central bank offers a particularly stark example of this phenomenon: experiencing a rapid decline from its high level of autonomy in the interwar years, to a clear subordination to the government after 1945. Through an analysis of the correspondence between the main policy makers in the exiled Norwegian government and central bank management, this article contributes to the understanding of central bank autonomy by tracing the decisive factors that led to the Norwegian central bank’s loss of agency..