George Osborne pulled off one of those bits of political theatre that he so enjoys today. Watching his statement in the Commons, one sensed something was up as Osborne delighted in delaying naming the new bank governor. It was an indication that, like the Mounties, the Chancellor had got his man.
Moments later, a clearly delighted Osborne announced that Mark Carney, the Canadian Central Bank Governor, would be the new governor of the Bank of England. This is quite a coup for Osborne as Carney is widely regarded as the best central bank governor in the world. It also marks a clear break with all that has gone wrong in the City in the last dozen years or so.
It was an open secret in Westminster that Carney was the preferred candidate of the Chancellor and his circle. But people believed that he had, as he initially said, decided not to apply.
Whenever you raised the governorship of Bank of England with George Osborne and his circle, they would make it clear that this was a subject they were not going to be drawn on. There was then, generally, a rueful comment about how Mark Carney, the Canadian Central Bank Governor, had decided not to throw his hat in the ring. But after the nominal application deadline had passed, Carney did send a form in.
Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.