Remember late January, when Mark Carney liked the look of 2010? That was seven weeks ago, and so much has changed. Colleague Geddes’ very good short profile of Carney, in this week’s issue but not yet online as I write this, centres on a moment in Davos when Carney pooh-poohed the IMF’s pessimistic medium-term forecasts. Now Carney finds himelf in broad agreement with the IMF.
This is unfortunate if you’re, well, just about everyone, but it’s particularly unfortunate if you’re Mark Carney. The young bank governor’s brand advantage was his relative optimism. But it’s only an advantage if he’s right. If not, he starts to look like the intellectual underpinning for the Harper government’s chronic misplaced cheeriness on the economy. For the government’s opponents, Carney could quickly become a handy guy to blame. For its friends too.
UPDATE: The new Mr. Brightside is Ben Bernanke.