Introduction to Central Banks

This “Introduction to Central Banks” course covers the roles of central banks and how they have evolved over time.

It discusses in depth the objectives of central banks and the policy tools they can use to control both interest rates and exchange rates. The course also reviews the communications that central banks release to the market.

Finally, participants will consider the specific rates and targets for the some of the major central banks.


This Introduction to Central Banks course is for individuals with a basic understanding of economics and the financial markets.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course participants should understand:

  • The policy tools available to modern central banks and the impact on the market
  • How central banks communicate with the market and voting patterns
  • Different central banks targets and policies

Course Content

The Role of Central Banks

The money multiplier

Central banks’ policy tools

A Brief History of Central Banks

Original purpose of government-sponsored banks

Gold standard and the Bretton Woods system

Modern Central Banking

Macroeconomic and macroprudential goals

Monetary stimulus

Monetary policy transmission mechanism

Setting rates

Open Market Operations (OMO’s)

FX intervention

Central Bank Communications

Long and variable lags

Forward guidance

MPC voting patterns

Federal reserve dot plots

Central Bank Rates and Targets

Federal Reserve (The Fed)

European Central Bank (ECB)

Bank of Japan (BOJ)

Bank of England (BOE)

Swiss National Bank (SNB)

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA)People’s Bank of China (PBOC)


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