In pursuit of their grandiose plans and ill-conceived economic scenarios, many leaders in the past century have found themselves in some or other dispute with their treasuries and ultimately their central bank governors. There are some legendary tales of such fights, involving leaders of old such as Uganda's Idi Amin or Zaire's Mobutu Sese Seko. For them, the main responsibility of central bankers was to print money for their governments, and ultimately for themselves. The only order that mattered was whether to speed up the presses, a rather simple instruction for these educated money-men in their administration. Such behaviour showed scant regard for the inflationary dragon it could ultimately unleash, and the resultant collapse of the currency. African dictators have provided several textbook examples of how not to run administrations, but the struggles of these gentlemen and women in the high echelons of state finances aren't isolated to the backwaters of the African continent. ...

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