In search of “the Holy Grail of permanent price stability”: How the Bank of England communicates trust via story and argument
This research paper examines the communication strategies adopted by the Bank of England to create trust in financial markets using narrative and argument. The corpus under scrutiny consists of 71 speeches delivered by Governors of the UK Central Bank – the Bank of England – at the Mansion House in the City of London, from 1946, when the Bank was nationalised, to 2016, shortly before the Brexit referendum. The question of how story and argument are used to create trust is analysed using three narrative threads deployed by successive Governors of the Bank of England in the annual Mansion House speech: the myth surrounding the City, the travails of Britain inside and outside of Europe and the “story of monetary policy”. This research, which lays bare the discursive techniques underpinning institutional trust, aims to provide an insight into the symbolic power of language and modes of authority and legitimation.
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