Professor Yusuke Takagi presented the key points in his new book Central Banking as State Building: Policymakers and their Nationalism in the Philippines, 1933-1964 during a Mabini Dialogue on 6 May 2016 at the Foreign Service Institute.
In his lecture, Prof. Takagi argued that the Central Bank of the Philippines, created in 1949, went beyond its monetary policy mandate and took a pivotal role in industrial policymaking until the 1960s. While policymakers worked together toward economic decolonization, power struggles among them ensued, such as the Great Debate in the 1950s between the Central Bank and the agro-export industry. Furthermore, he believed that the US government’s suspension of the gold standard in 1933 and devaluation of the dollar in 1934 prompted Secretary of Finance Vicente Singson to propose the creation of an autonomous currency system along with a central bank.
He concluded that the establishment of a central bank was an integral part of the process of state-building. This effort was led by a group of policymakers who pushed for structural change in the national economy. Thus, the changing agenda and the series of power struggles among policymakers were shaped by generational changes rather than attempts to maximize personal interests.
Professor Takagi is an Assistant Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo, Japan. The National University of Singapore Press and the Kyoto University Press published the revised version of his dissertation into a book early this year. The Ateneo de Manila University Press will publish his book in the Philippines.