By the time Mervyn King steps down from his position as governor of the Bank of England next June, the Treasury may have imported some talent from across the pond to take his place. Mark Carney, who heads up Canada’s central bank, has apparently been quietly sounded out for the UK’s most significant banking job.
Carney’s CV is pretty hot: Canada has enjoyed a relatively pain-free recession (thanks to having avoided a credit-fuelled binge during the good times) with him as a central banker, and he is now also the head of the Financial Stability Board, which is the overseeing body for global financial regulation.
If he were to get the post, it would be a slap in the face for the hottest bankers already in London. But if the IMF’s declamation yesterday is true - that Britain faces £50bn more in spending cuts and tax rises by 2030 to get the deficit under control and cover age-related care costs – then there might be a shortage of Brits willing to play the bad guy to the required degree…
In fact, the IMF is talking about greater proportional austerity than either Greece or Portugal are currently enduring, so we might do well to have a hardline outsider on board. Of course, these are only economic predictions, and we all know just how reliable they are. Other for candidates for Threadneedle Street include Sir John Vickers of Vickers Report fame, Lord O’Donnell and Lord Turner, current chairman at the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
But Paul Tucker, the BoE’s current deputy governor for financial stability, is still the favourite to take the post, so Carney’s chances aren’t that great. Installing a fresh face at the bank would be a bold and innovative move from the government ahead of the disbandment of the Financial Services Authority in 2013. Merv aside, King.