So, how’s the U.K. reacting to the news that a Canadian will take the top job at the Bank of England? Here’s our guide to the British press coverage:
The Financial Times
Well, the FT is happy—and no wonder. The top British financial daily has been rooting for Mark Carney to take the helm of the BOE for some time, and it was the FT, back in April, that broke the news about how Canada’s top banker had been approached to fill the job in England. Here’s what the FT is writing today:
*Some FT articles are gated.
|1. A bold choice for the Bank of England. The paper’s editors call Carney’s pick a “resounding statement that Britain is ready to hire the best talent for top posts.” And absolve him for denying he ever applied for the job: “lack of candour is excusable given the sensitivities of his current employer, the Bank of Canada, and the unpredictable reaction in financial markets.”||2. Four things to expect from a Carney-led Bank of England. According to the Money Supply blog: 1. Frozen interest rates for a long time, 2. A radical shake-up of the BOE, 3. Everyone will be looking at what Carney does with England’s banking sector (the BOE assumes new powers to regulate the country’s banks next week), 4. Carney’s appointment makes for the third top central banker yielding from Goldman Sachs.|
|3. Old Canucklehead to Old Lady – a Mark Carney intro. Carney’s appointment to the BOE will provide a welcome boost to the profile of the Financial Stability Board, the international financial regulator that he’s been heading since late last year. Carney will have more clout when arguing U.S. banks need stricter capital rules.||4. Beware the next financial blindspot. Columnist Gillian Tett, writing before today’s announcement, warns the future BOE governor that the next threat to the U.K., and indeed the global financial system, might come from the so-called shadow banking sector. That’s a concern that has been raised in Canada as well.|
The Times of London
The Times is dumbfounded—”stunned” in its own words. The paper had been vying for BOE deputy governor Paul Tucker. In fact, with extraordinary bad timing, it came out with an editorial calling for Tucker to lead the Bank precisely today…
*Most Times articles are gated.
|1. Portrait of an Old Lady – The Bank of England’s strength in monetary economics needs to be combined with expertise in financial markets. Paul Tucker would be a Governor to provide it. The titles tells all…||2. Osborne springs surprise with Canadian Mark Carney as new Bank Governor. The website’s home page reads: “Stunned City welcomes new Bank chief.” I guess “welcomes” softens up “stunned,” at least a bit.|
The venerable British weekly had said that Mark Carney was its top choice, but today it was worrying about whether a foreigner with a long list of unpopular choices to make will become an easy political target. The magazine also raised the key question of whether the appointment of a foreign citizen will set a precedent where central banks the world over start stealing star employees from each other:
*Some Economist articles are gated.
|1. Canada home and dry. Key quote: “If President Obama came calling when Ben Bernanke’s term at the Federal Reserve ends in January 2014, could the Bank of England refuse to release [Mark Carney], having itself poached him from another central bank?”||2. Paul Tucker is the best of the candidates to be the next governor of the Bank of England. Note the somewhat convoluted choice of wording here. The endorsement came only because the magazine believed Carney to be out of the game after he denied applying for the job.|
News of Carney’s appointment features much less prominently on The Guardian‘s website, and the paper seems disappointed:
|1. Mark Carney’s ‘shock’ appointment means more of the same. “Be very afraid,” writes Ann Pettifor, Canada’s man will give free rein to the banks and favours exports over the domestic economy. (The first assertion is questionable, the second one nonsensical).||2. Mark Carney named new Bank of England governor to widespread acclaim – live. The Guardian chronicled Carney’s appointment in one of its trademark live blogs—and did a fabulous job with it, as usual. Full of juicy details and well worth a read.|
The Daily Mail and the Telegraph
The Daily Mail delves into the professional perks of the job, which comes with a considerable pay boost for Carney. The Telegraph has a bizarre piece portraying the governor’s wife, Diana Carney, as some sort of tree-hugging leftist radical.
|1. THE DAILY: Canadian Mark Carney becomes first non-British Governor of the Bank of England.||2. THE TELEGRAPH New Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s wife: an eco-warrior who says banks are rotten.|