Mervyn King talks finance Mambo jumbo

Bank of England governor Mervyn King's appearance on yesterday's Desert Island Discs revealed his preference for late-90s chart-toppers.

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 15 Aug 2013

More finance-based hilarity this morning after it emerged during yesterday’s episode of Desert Island Discs that the man they’ve had in charge of the UK’s financial wellbeing for the past decade cites Lou Bega’s 1999 song ‘Mambo No 5 (A Little Bit Of…)’ as one of this favourite songs.

Admittedly, King did say he liked it because it was the theme tune to Channel 4's cricket coverage, but that isn't any excuse: the song knocked Geri Halliwell’s ‘Mi Chico Latino’ off number one in August 1999, only to be replaced two weeks later by the Vengaboys’ ‘We’re Going to Ibiza’ (you pronounce the z). Not exactly a vintage month for the UK charts.

Speaking just under a month before he steps down from his post, King talked marginally more sense when it came to the state of the economy, saying that he had foreseen the amount of anger the financial crisis would cause.

‘In many ways, when the crisis hit in 2007-08 I was surprised that people weren’t angry sooner,’ he said.

‘You can see it coming through now as the impact on standards of living - [people] have a right to be angry. But this crisis wasn’t caused by a few individuals, it was a crisis of the system of banking we had allowed to grow up.’

King also said he was planning to brush up on his fancy footwork during a ‘gap year’ after he steps down.

‘I’ve promised my wife that, when I leave the bank, I’ll take dancing lessons,’ he said.

Fortunately, King’s other music choices suggest that the pair won’t just be bopping along to late-90s chart toppers. His selection included Mozart’s ‘Symphony No 40’, Bob Dylan’s ‘Highway 61’ and Hugh Watkins’ ‘London Concerto’. Although we’d suggest that Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’, Aloe Blacc’s ‘I Need a Dollar’ and The Smiths’ ‘Money Changes Everything’ might be more appropriate…

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Is it favouritism to protect an employee no one likes?

The Dominic Cummings affair shows the dangers of double standards, but it’s also true that...

Masterclass: Communicating in a crisis

In this video, Moneypenny CEO Joanna Swash and Hill+Knowlton Strategies UK CEO Simon Whitehead discuss...

Remote working is no substitute for a good office

EKM's CEO Antony Chesworth has had no problems working from home, but he has no...

5 rules for work-at-home productivity

And how to focus when focusing feels impossible.

Scandal management lessons from Dominic Cummings

The PR industry offers its take on the PM’s svengali.

Why emails cause conflict

And what you can do about it.