I was hoping someone here might be able to detail what sets central banks apart from each other. Obviously we have models like the Fed, the ECB, and the pre-ECB Bundesbank. But I have had a lot of trouble trying to directly compare them. Also there are some weird examples like the NZ model where it's completely gov't based or the 'old Scottish' system which was largely privatised. I guess I understand how they work, but what kind of advantages and drawbacks do each offer? I've been looking at this book called This Time is Different (by Carmen Reinhart) and mentions the Austrian School, led by von Mises and Hayek, as a possible alternative to the CB paradigm. I've always viewed the CB as a highly useful tool to ease inflationary and liquidity issues, but perhaps my mind isn't open enough. I'd like to hear a good discussion on this central issue.