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Wanted: superhuman central banker

14 September 2012

3:03 PM

14 September 2012

3:03 PM

The race to replace Sir Mervyn King started today when an advert searching for the next Bank of England governor appeared in the Economist. It wasn’t a particularly exciting start to the race: William Hill has named Paul Tucker the favourite to succeed Sir Mervyn. He is currently 7/4 to get the job.

Tucker is the deputy governor of the Bank currently, and based on his job title alone, the odds would hardly be surprising. But remember that this is the man who made a meal of his appearance before the Treasury Select Committee in July, uttering the strange phrase that ‘we thought it was a malfunctioning market, not a dishonest one’ when it came to suspicions about manipulations of Libor. It says a great deal about the other candidates that Tucker came out top. Those are: Mark Carney at 5/2, Adair Turner at 3/1, Gus O’Donnell at 5/1, Stephen Green and John Vickers at 10/1, John Varley at 14/1 and Kate Barker, Douglas Flint and Peter Sands at 20/1.

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Alistair Darling rather tactfully suggested on Newsnight yesterday that ‘I would ask the government to make sure they look around the world’ when hunting for the next governor. He said:

‘And I think we need the very best because frankly this is going to be a huge job, not just here but if you look at what’s going on with the new European banking system, this is going to require something of a superhuman, and I’m not sure we’ve got that many in this country.’

Tucker has shown superhuman qualities of survival, given how roundly his performance over the Libor scandal was condemned. But the best sort of superhuman would be one who had the power to see crises and scandals coming, or at least the power to pick up on fairly clear signs that something was going wrong.

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Show comments
  • Kevin

    It does not take a Kryptonian to restore the policy of targeted inflation. Ask Norman Lamont.

  • Daniel Maris

    How about someone who makes reasonable predictions rather than the absurd and wildly inaccurate prognostications that emanate from Mervyn “Useless” King.

  • Percy

    Danny Blanchflower or perhaps Wayne Rooney

  • Mirtha Tidville

    Well one thing is for sure, whoever replaces Mervyn King, wont have much to beat….

  • itdoesntaddup

    It seems odd that Tucker is listed as favourite and Bean (the other DG) is not anywhere in the betting. I would have thought that from the BoE Executive Committee, Spencer Dale, Paul Fisher and Andrew Haldane might have put themselves forward.

  • Torontory

    José Manuel Barroso is the outstanding candidate!

  • dalai guevara

    Superhuman? All this chap needs to do is take orders from the shareholdes.
    Judging by Merv’s appearance, this wasn’t too physically challenging for him to adhere to…

  • http://twitter.com/BookiesKnowBest Ron Whitehand

    John Redwood is your man. He has the intellect. He has the knowledge. He has the background in economics. He is not afraid to stand for what is right and not afraid to be unpopular.

    • telemachus

      I think you should be on stage live at the Apollo

      • Molly

        How about Tony Blair?

        He can use his own money and knows plenty of rich Arabs.

  • TomTom

    Central Banking is rather like the Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls the curtain aside. It has been exposed as an illusion and is no longer valid. The Fed and the Bank of England simply create money to buy Government Debt and use the banks and insurers as an SIV to park the liabilities. This game of keeping the saucers in the air has no real merit when everyone is waiting for them to crash to earth.

  • TomTom

    Central Banking is rather like the Wizard of Oz when Toto pulls the curtain aside. It has been exposed as an illusion and is no longer valid. The Fed and the Bank of England simply create money to buy Government Debt and use the banks and insurers as an SIV to park the liabilities. This game of keeping the saucers in the air has no real merit when everyone is waiting for them to crash to earth.

  • In2minds

    There’s something very funny about advertising for the new governor of the BoE in the Economist, can’t describe it but it made me laugh.

  • Archimedes

    Paul Tucker seemed to be impatient and pretty useless diplomatically in the Treasury Select hearing – surely that’s the exact opposite of what’s needed to make the BoE with an enlarge mandate work.

    • telemachus

      Tucker is a no hoper who cannot even stand up to Barclays
      *
      Stephen Fay’s excellent analysis—–
      King’s opportunistic expansion of the Bank’s power and influence comes at a cost to the office of Governor, however. His successor will need to be as skilled a manager as a policy-maker. The necessary change in its culture makes it unlikely that Mervyn King’s successor will be chosen from within the Bank. Conaghan’s is the story of an influential autocrat who will be the last of his line. It is hard to imagine the next Governor sitting in the light, airy office overlooking a garden court and thinking of himself as a Sun King or a Pope – or having time to do so.
      —–points to the 5/1 Gus O’Donnell
      *
      He is self evidently one rung above the pope

      • telemachus

        From 1997 to 1998, O’Donnell was the United Kingdom’s Executive Director to both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, again in Washington, before returning to HM Treasury to serve as both Director of Macroeconomic Policy and Prospects and also Head of the Government Economics Service, with overall responsibility for the professional economists in Her Majesty’s Government. A year later, in 1999, he was appointed Managing Director of Macroeconomic Policy and International Finance, with responsibility for Fiscal Policy, International Development, and European Union Economic and Monetary Union.

  • UlyssesReturns

    Peter Sands is the real architect of the ‘Gordon Brown plan that saved the world’ and despite the recent US problems for Standard Chartered he would be my first choice along with HSBC’s ex Stephen Green with Varley from Barclays third. The idea of see no evil, hear no evil Tucker, Blair’s boy O’Donnell or the truly ghastly Adair Turner fill me with dread. We have the most sophisticated financial services industry in the world; Darling’s view that we should go offshore for the next BoE governor is typical new labour bollocks. Watching him on Sky this morning almost made me choke on my cuppa – the man is as culpable as Brown, Balls and Milliband for the mess we are in.

    • TomTom

      I agree you cannot go offshore – you need someone who knows the market and is not a patsy for the Treasury….but I doubt anyone would really want the job, though it does look as if supervision of the banks will no longer be part of the remit now the EU is taking over

    • TomTom

      I agree you cannot go offshore – you need someone who knows the market and is not a patsy for the Treasury….but I doubt anyone would really want the job, though it does look as if supervision of the banks will no longer be part of the remit now the EU is taking over

    • Publius

      Isn’t it time a black woman was given a turn?

      • UlyssesReturns

        Diane Abbott?

  • Alexsandr

    I’d ask the boss of De la Rue. he knows about printing money…

    • telemachus

      I assume you mean Tim Cobbold-Philip Rogerson has just taken the chair and his experience is logistics

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