Brought to Book: A-Level Economics Text Most Borrowed by Bank of England Staff

Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett

An inspired freedom of information request has revealed the most popular book in the Bank of England Library – and it’s a curious choice for the brain-box staff who run the control-room of the British economy.

The library, which is known by its modern title the ‘Learning Centre’, lends books on improving subjects to the bank’s 3,600 employees. Despite being an institution which under the stewardship of Lord King, followed by Canadian import Mark Carney, has aimed to employ the finest economic minds in the country, the most popular book is actually a textbook aimed at 17 and 18-year-old students.

Simply titled Economics, Alain Anderton’s “best-selling” textbook stands at a hefty 768 pages of economic theory and case studies and was borrowed or renewed a remarkable 33 times last year. The Times, who made the revelation reports the remarks of the author, who is bemused at why the staff need the book at all. He asked: “Why would anybody at the Bank of England want to borrow my book?”

The bank replied it holds books in the ‘learning centre’ to support members of staff in continued learning programmes, as they conduct A-level programmes. Presumably the A-level economics courses are being taken by the cleaners, rather than the economists.