News report: Carney approached for top Bank of England job
Since he once played goal for the Harvard hockey team, it seems appropriate to use a hockey analogy: there’s no way we should trade Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney to the Bank of England. Not even if they send us back the rights to Rory McIlroy, Steven Gerrard and Graeme Swann. Maybe if the Duchess of Cambridge is added to the mix, although I doubt Her Majesty nor Prince William will let her go; but even then?
It is an honour, of course, for Canada, indirectly at least, to be getting this kind of attention. But this has much more to do with Governor Carney’s talents than the stability of the Canadian banking system (see prior post “No Canadian bank bailouts? Says who?” Dec 10-09). Governor Carney has been a rock star for a long time, as we well know (see prior representative posts “The subtext of the new Bank Governor’s appointment” Oct 12-07 and “Governor Carney’s future political career looking good” Sept 10-10).
As much as “The City” comes with a certain amount of intellectual excitement, one would hope that Governor Carney gets that via his current dual role as BoC Governor and the Chair of the Financial Stability Board. As for the money, there’s nothing that the BoE could pay that Governor Carney couldn’t make 25 times over on Wall Street. And, as has become apparent to many of us, money doesn’t seem to make this guy tick.
Service. Policy. The mandate, capacity and tools to bring about change in a variety of forms. That’s what must appeal to a guy who left Goldman for a public service job at the Department of Finance. I’d argue he should be tempted for something that allows him to broaden that skill set, such as political office (see prior post “How about Carney as Minister of Economic Transformation?” Feb 8-11).
But the Brit’s bank job? Feels a bit like changing four quarters for a dollar to me. If I thought for a moment that he’d have the tools to fix Europe, perhaps we Canadians could be our gracious selves and encourage Governor Carney to move up the ladder of Central Bankland. But there’s nothing about Europe that the UK government can fix, particularly if it has to write cheques.
To paraphrase a former Prime Minister, let’s hope he dances with the woman that brung him.