The stage is set for the Bank of England's curtain-raiser

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The Bank of England Photo: PA Wire

What makes central banking so darn exciting is that central bankers are so darn discreet.

Unlike companies which are riddled with division heads, directors and even chief executives who leak sensitive information for their own reasons (sometimes unfathomable), the men and women who manage monetary policy rarely speak out of turn. There may be the odd nudge or wink to make sure their actions are correctly interpreted but that's all.

This discretion drives those whose job it is to forecast every move by Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank or the Bank of England to distraction.

And this week is a most distracting week which hasn't been helped by various on-the-record comments from policymakers.

First to move will be the Federal Reserve in Washington DC. Policymakers there have been backpedalling furiously after public musings from the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, on slowing the world's biggest quantitative easing programme which sent markets spinning.

Later today the Fed publishes its monthly decision on monetary policy and might surprise investors with an announcement (or hints) about tapering off the huge sums it's pumping into the economy.

However, the second-guessing has it that the Fed will wait until September when it holds a press conference alongside the decision and Mr Bernanke can fully explain his thinking. On the record.

US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Credit: Reuters

The European Central Bank is also meeting this week and may take the chance to calm the speculation triggered by its president last month when Mario Draghi gave a form of forward guidance, saying interest rates would stay at or below their current level "for an extended period."

He wouldn't be drawn on how long 'extended' is and conflicting on-the-record comments from other ECB policymakers has confused everyone.

So that leaves the Bank of England, which publishes a decision on monetary policy tomorrow.

Under the new governor, Mark Carney, the Bank issued a form of guidance alongside its last decision a month ago in the form of a statement which has been pored over for clues to Mr Carney's thinking.

It was clear that an analysis of the Bank's thinking on 'guidance' will come next week with the quarterly inflation report. So will there be more quantitative easing beforehand at tomorrow's decision?

New Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney Credit: Jason Alden/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Again, the received wisdom is that there will be no change tomorrow. It would "look odd" writes Berenberg Bank to bump up QE and then issue a statement that either rowed back on the promise to explain guidance next week or make no comment and trigger six days of frenzy before the inflation report on 7th August.

There's an outside chance, I think, that the Bank may use surprise to squeeze the last ounce of impact from more QE tomorrow, giving the economy a last shot in the arm with a tool which many think has run its course.

Either way, the stage is set for next week when Mark Carney will almost certainly explain what formal guidance the Bank is going to issue. It will be some formulation that promises businesses and consumers that interest rates will stay low for a protracted period, encouraging us to borrow and spend.

The announcement will be on the record, there have been no leaks, everyone is waiting for clarity. I shall write a further blog with more detail on what to expect.