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Since the global financial crisis began in 2007, there has been a lot of hand-wringing about the independence of central banks. Some commentators today would suggest that the recent large-scale purchases of government bonds by central banks inherently represent a compromise of their independence from elected officials. Others will assert that the central banks that purchased private-sector securities, thereby jeopardizing their balance sheets and supposedly making political asset allocations, are the ones that have put their independence at risk. The recent emergency actions of the European Central Bank (ECB) as part of the European Union's response to the Greek financial crisis have prompted a whole new round of recrimination and worry on the continent.
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