George Osborne pulled off the biggest coup de theatre of his admittedly bumpy number 11 career yesterday. Everyone - journalists, city types, even bookies - had decided that Paul Tucker’s elevation to the job was a done deal, so the news that the darkest of dark horses Mark Carney was not only back in the race but had actually won it caused quite a stir. And is there anything a beleaguered politician likes more than seeing the attack dogs of the media pack roll over and let their tummies be tickled for a change?
The overwhelming response so far has been positive, not least because Carney is widely regarded as being the best central banker of his generation, and also perhaps because of his initial refusal to take the role. Such reluctance is vanishingly rare these days, when jobseekers at all levels must show themselves willing to walk over broken glass in their ‘passion’ to take on whatever task is on offer. But it is actually a very desirable quality in a Bank of England governor-designate.
But how is Carney’s appointment likely to be viewed in, say, two years time? And what will his new colleagues on Threadneedle Street make of the new boss in town? That is harder to call.