Mark carney

Will Mark Carney Brexit by Christmas?

Critics say the Bank of England put itself under suspicion by entering the referendum fray. Now Mark Carney says its warnings are being borne out by the post-referendum economic reaction. He misses the point. By having made those warnings himself, even if he sincerely believed them, he became like a politician trying to win, rather than a public servant trying honestly to manage either outcome. The more loudly he tries to vindicate himself and attack the motives of his accusers, the more clearly this is proved. It would damage confidence if Mr Carney were to leave his job suddenly, particularly if the government pushed him; but surely he should quietly

Mark Carney clashes with Jacob Rees-Mogg over BoE’s Brexit warnings

Jacob Rees-Mogg and Mark Carney’s clash at this morning’s Treasury Committee was a masterclass in passive aggressiveness veiled in pleases and thankyous. From the words being said, it wasn’t clear there was any enmity in the room. But Carney’s expressions couldn’t have made things clearer: there is certainly no love lost between these two. Before the referendum, Rees-Mogg said Carney had come under ‘undue influence’ during the referendum campaign from the Treasury. Today, the Tory MP went on the attack in the politest way possible as he tried his trump card question once again about whether Carney would have conducted himself in the same way during a general election. Last

Mark Carney should admit that the Bank of England fell for Project Fear

A stable government, led by a good-looking modernising liberal. A free trade agreement that gives it unrestricted access to the largest economic bloc in the world. Rising prices and a return to growth. There must be times when the Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney wishes he was still in charge of the relatively simple Canadian economy, and had never been tempted to try and steer the damp and grey island on the other side of the North Atlantic through a moment of national angst. There may be worse jobs in the world – replacing Chris Evans on Top Gear, perhaps, or joke-writer for Theresa May – but

Mark Carney uses interest rate decision to put the boot in over Brexit again

The Bank of England’s decision to keep interest rates pegged at 0.5 per cent won’t surprise anyone. What is more interesting, after today’s row involving Mark Carney, is how much the Bank had to say about the EU referendum. Brexiteers hoping Mark Carney and the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee would keep quiet about next week’s vote will be disappointed. In its meeting minutes, the MPC gives it both barrels when warning about the dangers of Brexit. The MPC says a vote to leave would send sterling’s exchange rate tumbling. It goes on to add that: ‘As the Committee set out last month, the most significant risks to the MPC’s forecast

Tom Goodenough

Bank of England Brexit bust-up shows the referendum campaign is getting nastier

With a week to go until the referendum, nerves are running high in both the ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ campaigns. This morning, we’ve seen that nervousness manifest itself in a spat between senior Tories and the Treasury and the Bank of England. Iain Duncan Smith, Michael Howard, Lord Lamont and Lord Lawson have signed a letter saying both the BoE and Treasury have been ‘peddling phoney forecasts’ to scare people into backing ‘Remain’. In their letter to the Daily Telegraph, they go on to say that: ‘There has been startling dishonesty in the economic debate, with a woeful failure on the part of the Bank of England, the Treasury, and other

Mervyn King hits out at ‘wildly exaggerated claims’ in referendum ‘debate’ – ‘the government has to take some responsibility’

Although Mark Carney has warned that a Brexit is the ‘biggest domestic risk to financial stability’, his predecessor Mervyn King takes a somewhat different approach when it comes to the impending EU referendum. The former Bank of England governor used an appearance today at the Hay Festival to hit out at the ‘wildly exagerated claims’ made in the run-up to the vote. ‘I wondered who would be the first to lower the tone,’ King joshed when asked whether he thought Britain should stay or go. While he declined to give his voting preference — on the grounds that it could make life difficult for Carney — King did let his disappointment

Today in audio: Fallon says Putin would ‘Vote leave’

Vladimir Putin’s name has popped up again in the Brexit debate. This time, however, it wasn’t the Prime Minister suggesting that the Russian president would favour Britain leaving the EU, but the Defence Secretary. Michael Fallon said Putin would ‘Vote Leave’ and he also told a Commons select committee that ‘there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a British exit from the European Union would be applauded in Moscow’. He added that it would be a ‘payday for Putin’: Michael Fallon went on to say that being in the EU ensured that Russia had ‘paid the price’ for its intervention in Ukraine. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister gave a

Could Brexit solve the housing crisis?

It is, at times, unclear that George Osborne is aware that the under-30s are voting in this EU referendum. When he talks about house prices plummeting post-Brexit, he talks as if this will strike fear into everyone’s hearts. For older people seeking to downsize, this might be true – but for almost everyone else, it’s not. And when I hear the In side arguing that we should all be terrified of Brexit because it will cause house prices to fall, I can’t help but wonder if this is the best single reason to vote ‘out’. For most people my age, one of the worst changes in Britain has been the

The IMF serves up more Project Fear – and it’s working

Another day, another warning about the economic bombshell which would follow Brexit. This time it’s the turn of the IMF. In a press conference at the Treasury, Christine Lagarde spoke of the outcome of a vote to leave the EU ranging from ‘bad to very bad’. Whilst the IMF’s report said: ‘A vote to leave the EU would create uncertainty about the nature of the UK’s long-term economic relationship with the EU and the rest of the world. A vote for exit would precipitate a protracted period of heightened uncertainty, leading to financial market volatility and a hit to output.’ George Osborne was clearly grateful for the support of the

Mark Carney isn’t butting out of the Brexit debate any time soon

The Bank of England isn’t going to butt out of the Brexit debate any time soon it seems. Today’s interest rate decision produced few surprises with the Bank sticking at 0.5%. But the headlines are focusing instead on its warning about the consequences of a vote to leave the EU. The wording about the dangers of Brexit was the starkest yet. The Bank of England said: ‘A vote to leave the EU could materially alter the outlook for output and inflation and therefore the appropriate setting of monetary policy. Households could defer consumption and firms delay investment, lowering labour demand and causing unemployment to rise’ As doomsday scenarios go, excluding

Mark Carney wades into Brexit debate again

Whatever might be said about the Governor of the Bank of England, it’s hard to fault his persistence. Mark Carney has made a habit of wading into the debate surrounding the EU referendum. And based on his appearance in front of the Lords Economic Affairs Committee this afternoon, he isn’t planning on stopping any time soon. Carney repeated the MPC’s warnings about the ‘threats’ from the forthcoming referendum being ‘the most significant near-term domestic risk to financial stability’. He also suggested that the effects of the vote on 23rd June might be materialising already: He spoke carefully and was clearly mindful of criticism he has faced before for appearing to

My straw polls say the ‘leave’ campaign is failing to make a clear economic case

In every gathering, someone — often me — calls for a show of hands on Brexit. And I have to report that, in the varied circles in which I move, ‘leave’ may have the best tunes but isn’t winning the argument. At a Mayfair fundraiser for a Jewish charity, the crowd of mostly thirty-to-fortysomething men in suits (and many in yarmulkes) was 90 per cent for ‘remain’; a former Tory minister was spotted waving both arms in a desperate bid to boost the ‘leave’ minority. In a more mixed crowd of business people at a Budget briefing in Newcastle, the balance was much the same. At a Sunday lunch in

The Spectator’s notes | 10 March 2016

Surely there is a difference between Mark Carney’s intervention in the Scottish referendum last year and in the EU one now. In the first, everyone wanted to know whether an independent Scotland could, as Alex Salmond asserted, keep the pound and even gain partial control over it. The best person to answer this question was the Governor of the Bank of England. So he answered it, and the answer — though somewhat more obliquely expressed — was no. For the vote on 23 June, there is nothing that Mr Carney can tell us which we definitely need to know and which only he can say. So when he spoke to

Portrait of the week | 21 January 2016

Home David Cameron, the Prime Minister, said that Muslim women must learn English, and that those who had entered on spousal visas would be told halfway through their five-year spousal settlement: ‘You can’t guarantee you can stay if you are not improving your language.’ He said that learning English had ‘a connection with combating extremism’. A heterosexual couple went to the High Court to claim the right to enter into a civil partnership. MI5, the security service, was rated as Britain’s most gay-friendly employer, following a survey by the organisation Stonewall. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, said: ‘Now is not the time to raise interest rates.’

Mark Carney abandons even a hint of interest rate rise. Is Britain trapped in the zero era?

It’s just as well that Mark Carney is Bank of England governor: he’d have made a lousy forecaster. In August 2013 he said he’d raise interest rates when unemployment fell below 7 per cent, expecting that to take three years. It took five months. Then last summer,  Carney informed us that the decision on when to make the first rate hike ‘will likely come into sharper relief around the turn of this year’. The year has turned, but the interest rate hasn’t. So yet again, the expectation has been delayed. The below graph shows the story so far… And now? As Carney said in a speech at Queen Mary University of London: ‘In my view, the

If the world economy crashes again, blame the central bankers

Like the Christmas pudding sampled by Hercule Poirot at Kings Lacey — but six weeks early — our Spectator Money supplement contains a little treasure in every portion, and perhaps even a priceless gem. I particularly commend the essays by Warwick Lightfoot and Subitha Subramaniam on interest rates, and why central banks have become so hesitant to raise them. In recent days we’ve had an indication from Mark Carney of the Bank of England that UK rates will stay at their current low well into next year, maybe until 2017; in the US, strong job numbers have pumped expectations that the first rate rise for nine years will be delivered

Mark Carney must avoid becoming the Tony Blair of central banking

Just about anyone, except it seems for the Bank of England’s forecasting department, could have seen this one coming. When the Bank’s Governor Mark Carney decided to bundle a stack of fresh data on the state of the economy into a single ‘Super Thursday’ package released every three months, someone could have checked the calendar and pointed out that the second one would fall on Bonfire Night. The jokes about expecting fireworks, followed by the tweets about damp squibs, were always inevitable. At the very least, they could have started a month later, and avoided that round of jokes. Forecasting, however, has been a weak spot of the Bank’s in recent

Revealed: how Jeremy Corbyn caused a scene at the China state banquet

Last week Jeremy Corbyn appeared to be on his best behaviour when he attended the state banquet at Buckingham Palace in honour of China’s President Xi Jinping. While he opted to attend the event solo, the republican Labour leader did manage to don white tie, and appeared to successfully make small talk with both the Royal family and members of the Chinese delegation. Alas, word reaches Steerpike that Corbyn’s efforts during the dinner were not so well received. Mr S understands that he actually broke one of the most basic rules of dining etiquette during the lavish do: no mobile phones at the dinner table. Party guests were surprised to spy the Labour leader

Mark Carney should avoid the EU referendum and stick to plain monetary economics

Governor Mark Carney is no orator, and whoever puts the fancy metaphors into his speech drafts really ought to desist. In his Mansion House address in June, it was about the legacy of the Great Fire and subsequent rebuilding — just like the great financial crisis, obviously. In last night¹s Cairncross Lecture at Oxford, it was the construction of the Sheldonian Theatre and the strengths of Wren’s design supporting the art on the ceiling — just like the architecture of the European single market, except that ‘they may in time need to be buttressed to realise the full creative potential of the peoples of the UK and Europe’. On both occasions, Carney looked briefly

Mark Carney may have unwittingly strengthened the case for leaving the EU

I suspect that Mark Carney set out to strengthen the case for Britain staying in the European Union with his remarks in Oxford tonight, but his intervention may end up having the reverse effect. First, the Bank of England governor did not talk about the advantages of staying inside the EU. He spoke about the advantages of Britain being part of a free trade block; as Boris Johnson argues in the new Spectator this is still likely even if we vote to leave. Here’s what he said:- ‘Broadly speaking, the evidence suggests that the UK has successfully harnessed the benefits of openness afforded by its EU membership while avoiding some of