It was a surprise to the Brits and much more to the Canadians, but the decision of Mark Carney to accept the position of being the new Governor of the Bank of England come July 1, 2013 was like what he said – an opportunity.
So much has been written of Carney specially this past week that many of the articles looked like lectures on economics. And is this another lecture? Well, that’s not really what this site is all about although there would be discussions of it as necessary, of course.
Nevertheless, be reminded that Central Banks are different from commercial banks, it does not serve “regular” clients but the government, institutions, and other banks. Hence, the governor’s job is more on monetary policies, interest rates, and printing money – or matters that has a direct say on the economy.
Now, let’s see what makes Mark Carney… Mark Carney.
TECHNICAL SKILLS. This includes education and experience which he has decades of. But, why did we put them under one roof instead of elaborating on each? Well, for a position that concerns a country’s economy, it’s but expected that candidates do meet the basic requirements unless an exceptional being shows up and demonstrates that there’s a better banking system than the one we know. Thus, for technicalities in this position, we remain conventional until one of us comes up with a better system.
COMPETENCE. This could only be proven if one is given the opportunity, and certainly, Carney has made the most out of it – from safely steering Canada during the recession by controlling household debt, inflation, and interest rates to chairing the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to being named Euromoney’s Central Bank Governor of the Year for 2012.
LEADERSHIP. Being able to calm down the Canadians under duress speaks a lot about Carney’s people skills. And with his smarts, optimism, courage, and zeal – he certainly got the tools to take on the job.
Then again, leadership does not come without criticisms.
From luck to a good supporting cast to an “established” banking system and all. This would be a longer story if we are to expound on these. To Carney, just try that your successor would not have a rough sailing when you leave.
FIT. More than the dilemma of U.K.’s banking system, adaptability is where Carney’s challenge would be. Take note, the BoE and BoC have different ways of “processing” things. At the Bank of England, he can not just be a maverick. Nonetheless, he could always bank on his people skills to do what needs to be done; and with timing – succeed.
So far, he’s good, but is he the right one for the position? Past is past. The answer lies in whether he’s got enough “energy”, not just physical but mental and emotional, to take the bumps and hopefully fix U.K.’s banking system and stabilize its economy.
What’s your take?