Coffee House

Like the Mounties, Osborne gets his man

26 November 2012

George Osborne pulled off one of those bits of political theatre that he so enjoys today. Watching his statement in the Commons, one sensed something was up as Osborne delighted in delaying naming the new bank governor. It was an indication that, like the Mounties, the Chancellor had got his man.

Moments later, a clearly delighted Osborne announced that Mark Carney, the Canadian Central Bank Governor, would be the new governor of the Bank of England. This is quite a coup for Osborne as Carney is widely regarded as the best central bank governor in the world. It also marks a clear break with all that has gone wrong in the City in the last dozen years or so.


It was an open secret in Westminster that Carney was the preferred candidate of the Chancellor and his circle. But people believed that he had, as he initially said, decided not to apply.

Whenever you raised the governorship of Bank of England with George Osborne and his circle, they would make it clear that this was a subject they were not going to be drawn on. There was then, generally, a rueful comment about how Mark Carney, the Canadian Central Bank Governor, had decided not to throw his hat in the ring. But after the nominal application deadline had passed, Carney did send a form in.

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  • Coffeehousewall

    It is disturbing that Diana Carney, the wife of Mark Carney, is an extremist environmentalist and socialist.

    She has said that inequality is the defining issue of our time. She is also an advocate of sustainability and all the other Watermelon key words.

    Do we want more of this?

  • Baron

    To overdo it, but only abit: the new man is a more articulate version of Fabio, and will end up as such. The one feature of banking here as opposed to anywhere else is that the shadow of the old boys network has never gone away completely, it has remained seeded in the culture of the City and, until the Brown incubated whizzkids of the Fred the Shred kind appeared, it had contributed to establishing the City as the second most important financial centre in the world.

    In banking, more so than in politics, one can never get full transparency, if fact, naked visibility may be, in certain circumstances, harmful far more than controlled opacity when the loss of trust, confidence and ultimately faith in a currency are at stake. The current Governor either lacked the historic City connections, or chose not to rely on them, hence his abysmal failure in controlling the cost of money before the near meltdown. Mr Carney, for all his abilities, past successes that, not unlike Capello’s, impress, clearly hasn’t got them.

  • Daniel Maris

    1. Didn’t you already tell us Osborne was the wonder-worker – recall that?

    2. He worked at Goldman’s when they doing their utmost to f*** the global economy.

    3. It would be very strange if Canada or its banks, with all their advantages (continental size country, nat resources, close by booming resource-hungry Asian economies) did
    as bad as the UK.

    4. He applied the same curatives as Darling did in dealing with the Canadian crisis.

    5. Can we really not find a UK citizen up to the job? If so , then the financial sector is having the same effect on our finance workers as the premier league is having on our footballers.

    • HooksLaw

      He is so useless he heads the International Stability Board which coordinates ‘at the international level the work of national financial authorities and international standard setting bodies and to develop and promote the implementation of effective regulatory, supervisory and other financial sector policies in the interest of financial stability.’

      • Daniel Maris

        If that’s intended to be ironic it will be lost on many who will query just how brilliant our financial systems are.

    • itdoesntaddup

      How many banks did he take into national ownership?

    • ModerateKam

      Canadians have a long history of bailing you people out in a crisis. You should be thankful we are willing to part with one of our own to lend a bit of the sensible leadership you clearly lack. Canada’s banking system is rated the most sound in the world because of prudent, sensible regulation. I just hope the government takes his advice.

      • Baron

        ModerateKam, nothing in regulating anything can beat the knowledge, the certainty that if one fuggs up one goes broke.

        • ModerateKam

          True, which is why when one looks at prominent British financials one notices a pattern of “fugging up”. Compare RBS with RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) and see the difference having proper capital reserves makes as well as the importance of sticking to banking fundamentals. A good deal of the credit goes to the foresight of the regulators versus the altruism and sensibility of the Canadian banks.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Not sensibility, old fruit, unless Canadian English does not know the meaning of Jane Austen’s title ‘Sense and Sensibility. You mean sense.

      • David Lindsay

        In this of all bicentenary years, everyone from the next Governor of the
        Bank of England to the biggest pop star in the world is Canadian, just
        as Canada’s vast resources of fuel, fresh water and other key
        commodities make her a coming superpower of the twenty-first century.

        So much for our Quisling pseudo-Tory press, which is loyal only to Israel and to an electorally defeated vision of the United States. Its proposed “Anglosphere” is
        the conformity of Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to that model in
        everything from healthcare to constitutional structures.

        God Save The Queen.

  • telemachus

    This man has to be a superstar
    Ed Balls likes him
    He will make no difference to Osborne’s economic incompetence.
    However Ed and Mark will make a good team dedicated to growth in 2015

    • The Crunge

      You had never heard of Mr Carney before this announcement yet you assume, on no evidence, that his economic policy will be inflationary and that he has a singular desire to work with Ed Balls. I can assure you that the opportunity to work with somebody as unprincipled and dishonest as the economically illiterate Mr Balls is pretty low on his list of priorities.

      • telemachus

        Ed knows him well from Oxford and Goldman Sachs

        • The Crunge

          Mr Balls may know Mr Carney but that does not alter the assertion in my second sentence. Also, kindly refrain from reminding me that the odious Mr Balls once attended Oxford University as it brings shame on an institution that I hold dear.

  • Noa

    Are you and Fraser not speaking to each other, James?

    • Daniel Maris

      It’s a love-in…like when Osborne took charge…Let’s hope it lasts a bit longer and doesn’t end in charges of arrogant incompetence and book-fiddling. :)

  • anyfool

    Time will tell if this man proves he is better than supposed, that he needs to better is probably a given. this should be a marker for all Civil Servants, the whole of the Civil Service should be put on notice that all higher echelon jobs will be put out to the rest of the world as long as there is no equal outcome element you are bound to get a higher standard mandarin.

    • Daniel Maris

      “How to incentivise middle ranking civil servants.” By Anyfool.

      Yeah, that will work won’t it? Why just not throw it open to anyone without civil service training and used to backhanders in the private sector.

      • anyfool

        Where has the status quo got us, the whole public sector is now unfit for purpose, corrupt police, a filthy NHS, an incompetent Border Service, a really incompetent Defence Department, can you name any part of the public sector doing what it should do.

        These are all overseen by the Civil Service, do you not think that looking up these middle ranker’s should say, i must be able to do better than this shower, what more incentive would a citizen of any country need.

        • Daniel Maris

          Yeah, well the public sector is completely saturated now with private sector contractors and consultants. So you are arguing against your own proposition if there hasn’t been any improvement.

          • anyfool

            Consultants yes, that is a direct result of politicians not knowing how to govern and the Civil Service being incapable of enlightening them, another reason to clear out the vast numbers of these incompetents which would at least leave a clearer idea of who should do what.
            As to your claim about private sector saturation this is plainly wrong and the ones who are there do not have any competition and with the poor state of the Public Sector managers no real supervision.
            This country is a disgraceful shambles and all of it is down to poor governance aided and abetted by unthinking acolytes of the Labour Party who keep telling everyone who listens that, you can have something for nothing.
            But the worst part of this is that there is no one in the main political entities who dare say otherwise.

  • Torontory

    Great choice!! Maybe I’ll come back

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