Andrew bailey

Sack Andrew Bailey? Let’s look at the case against him

The Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, is a loyal and well-intentioned public servant in a role that, by its nature, attracts constant blame and hindsight judgment. Liz Truss is a spectacularly failed 44-day prime minister with a book to sell. So when Truss says Bailey should have been sacked for his part in her downfall –when the Bank intervened to prevent a pension fund crisis after her chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s radical mini-Budget of September 2022 – and that he should be sacked anyway for being part of a Keynesian economic Establishment, with the Treasury and the Office for Budget Responsibility, that has delivered nothing but stagnation, my

What Andrew Bailey’s eyebrows can tell us about the NatWest scandal

Enough said about the fall of Dame Alison Rose; more than enough about the second coming of Nigel Farage. But one question remains: what happened to the Governor’s eyebrows? In former times, the fate of errant bank chiefs was unequivocally a matter for the Bank of England. Careers were sunk or salvaged by a twitch of the governor’s supercilia. When Bob Diamond of Barclays was under fire in 2012 after the rate-fixing scandal and the Barclays board tried to save him by offering the head of chairman Marcus Agiusinstead, the then governor, Mervyn King, ordered Agius to unresign and fire Diamond – while the chancellor George Osborne denied any part,

The Bank of England’s governor issues a stark warning

Speculation has been growing that the Bank of England might announce an extension of its emergency gilt-buying programme which is set to end on Friday. Despite the Treasury moving forward its ‘medium-term fiscal plan’ announcements from November to the end of this month, gilt yields have been rising yet again this week in the lead-up to the end of the scheme. It seemed likely that the Bank’s gilt-buying programme might be extended for another two weeks as a result, in order to buy time before the Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s announcement on 31 October. But tonight Andrew Bailey put that speculation to bed. Speaking at the Institute of International Finance in Washington DC, the

Can the Bank of England inspire confidence?

It has dawned on the government that last week’s mini-Budget might have been a bit too one-sided: £70 billion worth of extra borrowing and not a single mention of spending cuts or efficiency gains has seen borrowing costs spike (up by 0.3 per cent just today). As James Forsyth reports on Coffee House, this afternoon’s announcement that a ‘medium term fiscal plan’ will be announced next month is an attempt by the Treasury to reassure markets – and convince them that fiscal responsibility has not totally disappeared from this government’s agenda. Emphasis is being placed on previous promises to make sure debt falls as a percentage of GDP in the

How not to level up parliament

Justified relief that soldiers are now coming out of the Azovstal steelworks alive is accompanied by anxiety about what might happen next. The day before the news broke, I was talking on WhatsApp to Daniel Detcom, a Ukrainian territorial reservist (in normal life, a disc jockey), currently on active service in Mykolaiv. He told me that the Azovstal issue was producing disagreement among Ukrainians. Those fighting in the steel plant were mostly more nationalist than President Zelensky. Some people suspected him of not striving hard enough to help them, because they might be better for him as ‘dead heroes’ than as active participants in a future Ukraine. It may be

Inflation rises again. The BoE has questions to answer

Inflation is back, and while some people continue to cling to the idea that its resurgence is a temporary phenomenon, today’s figures further stamp out that optimism. Consumer inflation was up to 4.2 per cent in the year to October, a surge from just over 3 per cent the month before. This takes inflation to its highest level since 2011, with prices only set to rise further heading into 2022. Why has the Bank been so insistent about the temporary nature of this round of inflation? Much of the rise is due to increasing energy costs, which were always expected to worsen this winter: global shortages continue to bite as the

Andrew Bailey’s note of Covid caution

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, Andrew Bailey threw his support behind one of the more optimistic scenarios for a post-Covid economic recovery: that the UK will be back to pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year. The combination of the UK’s hugely successful vaccine rollout combined with increased levels of lockdown immunity – that is, the economic impact of restrictions ‘reducing as we all adapt’ – had the Governor of the Bank of England suggesting that we could see a full recovery by the end of the year (notably earlier than the Office for Budget Responsibility’s Budget forecast of roughly the middle of next year). Bailey

Are the Bank of England’s forecasts too optimistic?

The Bank of England offers a mixed bag of forecasts today. It now expects Britain’s economic downturn to be less extreme than feared, while also predicting a recovery will take longer than originally thought. The Bank now expects the economy to contract 9.5 per cent in 2020, substantially less than the 14 per cent drop it predicted at the height of the national lockdown. But it joined the Office for National Statistics in revising its optimism for a sharp V-shaped recovery downward, expecting nine per cent growth in 2021, with GDP not returning to pre-Covid-19 levels for another eighteen months. The Bank’s forecast remains one of the most optimistic, still

Airlines are no special case when we all need a bailout

The world needs airlines — and, barring Armageddon, will still have some when this crisis is over. It will also still have aircraft, pilots and airports. The aviation industry, accustomed to volatility as it is, should be well capable of restructuring and regrowing in response to renewed demand, even if bankruptcies are left behind. I know that sounds glib, but airlines on both sides of the Atlantic have been loud in calling for state aid as traffic has collapsed — and in the cruel process of deciding how governments can equitably relieve the virus’s financial impact on every business and family, all such claims demand scrutiny. The Chancellor says he’s

Andrew Bailey’s stark warning about the coronavirus ’emergency’

The new Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey has warned that the UK is facing an ‘economy emergency’ and the worst is yet to come. Speaking to Sky News, Bailey said the UK economy needs to brace itself for a ‘very big downturn’. ‘Everything’s on the table that is reasonable,’ he said, referring to the policy tool kit at the BoE’s disposal to help manage any economic crisis in the coming weeks and months. The governor’s warning comes a day after Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s unprecedented £350bn coronavirus stimulus and hours after the pound plummeted below $1.20 – its lowest level against the US dollar since 1985. Investors are abandoning the pound and flocking to the