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November 27, 2012 6:34 PM   Subscribe

Her Majesty the Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Mark Carney as Governor of the Bank of England from 1 July 2013. He will succeed Sir Mervyn King. posted by vozworth (48 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh, look at that. Goldman-Sachs. What a surprise.

Now let's all prepare to look shocked in a year or so when the public is yet again left holding the bag.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:42 PM on November 27, 2012 [14 favorites]


When it says "Her Majesty the Queen", which functionary with actual work and responsibility does that mean?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:47 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Her pleasure and her approval were not outsourced. The appointment may have been though.
posted by carsonb at 6:50 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Has anyone double checked that it's not John Malkovich in disguise planning an assassination attempt?
posted by mannequito at 7:00 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Have we ever had a foreigner as the Governor of the Bank of England? Bonamy Dobrée was a Channel Islander, so I suppose that counts.
As a Canadian citizen he is a subject of Her Majesty The Queen.
Aw, how quaint. But it's kinda a weird throwback to think of things in that way. Maybe she's going batty in her old age and still think it's the 1950s.
posted by Jehan at 7:01 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've got to hand it to Osborne (blergh), he did well here in being so very persistent in recruiting Carney. Carney was a strong "no" for a long time (wife and kids happy in Canada, didn't want stress of London job, pay bump (until Osborne sweetened it) wasn't enough etc.)

and OK, yes, Goldman Sachs, but he earns much much less than he could working at the Canadian or UK central banks than in the private sector, particularly given his excellent track record as a central banker in Canada.


As to Pope Guilty's question, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (i.e. Treasury Secretary) Osborne made the recommendation to the Prime Minister, Cameron, who approved it (after consulting with the Canadian government to avoid stepping on toes) and passed it on the Queen for the ceremonial approval.
posted by Bwithh at 7:01 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


also: the UK has had a New Brunswickian Prime Minister: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonar_Law

Law had British citizenship but Carney is applying for it too.

(under UK law, adult citizens of Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland can vote in national elections and are are eligible to be Members of the British Parliament)
posted by Bwithh at 7:05 PM on November 27, 2012


This seems an odd observation to make: As a Canadian citizen he is a subject of Her Majesty The Queen.

Yeah, but... isn't he a subject of a totally different Queen who happens to be the same person? I mean, he's a subject of the Queen of Canada, who is Elizabeth II, not the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who is Elizabeth II.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:09 PM on November 27, 2012 [7 favorites]


I keep worrying that Carney knows something and is deserting the Canadian ship just as it's about to founder.
posted by looli at 7:15 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


(under UK law, adult citizens of Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland can vote in national elections and are are eligible to be Members of the British Parliament)
Apart from Irish citizens, I've never understood why we let so many foreigners vote in the general elections. What does a Canadian know about the UK? Apart from the off-chance of sharing DNA, not much.

I'm really not happy with the idea of a Canadian as Governor of the Bank of England. I've heard a few murmurs of the same feeling, but it's sad that there is more uproar at the idea. In a world where high finance is internationalized, it's a bad precedent that the chair of a central bank could just be "anybody from anywhere". Central banks are not commercial banks. They're public institutions run for the public good, and that means we need somebody with a proper understanding and loyalty to that public. Why should we expect a Canadian to have any loyalty to the British people? How many other countries would let a foreigner run their central bank?
posted by Jehan at 7:22 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I guess Jackie Gleason was unavailable.
posted by dr_dank at 7:33 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now let's all prepare to look shocked in a year or so when the public is yet again left holding the bag.

For what it's worth, the Canadian press' response to the news that Carny is leaving the country to work at BoE is, to put it bluntly, "well, shit, how the hell can we replace him with someone of equal stature?" He's actually getting a very loving farewell from every paper I've read. Hell, the toughest analysis of his tenure is from Macleans, which, while claiming he's enjoying an inflated reputation right now, has not much harsh to say, acknowledging that "Again, one can’t fault the governor for failing to tame the boom".
posted by flibbertigibbet at 7:43 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, at least now he can implement a monetary policy that's more complex than "whatever Ben Bernanke just did."
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 7:46 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Slightly off-topic, but why do Canadians still put up with the whole farcical Queen thing? Surely someone can't be happy about it.
posted by silby at 7:52 PM on November 27, 2012


Slightly off-topic, but why do Canadians still put up with the whole farcical Queen thing? Surely someone can't be happy about it.

We Canadians are pretty laid back and complacent about just about anything as long as we've got our hockey.

Hang on. There might be a problem here.
posted by figurant at 7:57 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, at least now he can implement a monetary policy that's more complex than "whatever Ben Bernanke just did."

See, I'm confused generally because my understanding is that the BoC's strict inflation targeting leaves relatively little discretion with regards to monetary policy. Is this a real gripe about Carny, that he was slavishly following US monetary policy?
posted by ~ at 7:58 PM on November 27, 2012


Slightly off-topic, but why do Canadians still put up with the whole farcical Queen thing?

Because Victoria Day makes for a nice May long weekend. The people I know who are most upset by the monarch figurehead always happen to be Americans.

Instead of armed rebellion, Canada managed to gain independence by gradually divesting the Queen of all governmental authority over the Dominion to the point where now basically only the title remains. Granted, this was probably easier to accomplish after the precedent set by our neighbors to the south.
posted by ceribus peribus at 8:02 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's not so much that he was slavishly following it. It's just that during Carney's tenure, he hasn't been able diverge from the Fed all that much without driving the loonie sky-high and hammering manufacturing and services in Central Canada.

Unfortunately, this extended period of too-cheap borrowing, when combined with relatively lax rules and things like 40-year mortgages insured by a Crown corporation, has led to a housing bubble.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:09 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a Canadian, I support this only if it means we get David Dodge back.

Srsly -- never had a voice of authority sounded so much like some guy in the bar.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:13 PM on November 27, 2012 [4 favorites]


UK reaction.
“Why do we have a Canadian? Weird,” a man in the street told Sky News.

“I think it would be better if we had a British guy,” a female City worker told the broadcaster.
Why yes! A British guy! That's the ticket!
posted by mazola at 8:13 PM on November 27, 2012


Slightly off-topic, but why do Canadians still put up with the whole farcical Queen thing? Surely someone can't be happy about it.

Constitutional matters in Canada tend to stir up various unsettled regional, historic, linguistic and ethnic festering complexities. Recent attempts to rationalize the constitution: The Meech Lake Accord in the 1980s and the Charlottetown Accord in the 1990s, were disasters. The general sentiment is that there is no public appetite for revisiting the constitution.

That said, I'm not sure this is the whole story. It's an embarrassment, but generally a pretty innocuous embarrassment. It's certainly seen as an archaic abstraction, with no actual political significance. I'm embarrassed to think that it might be the Canadian propensity for milquetoastism at play - or perhaps more charitably: a taste for muddle, and a distrust of homogenous or ideologic nationalism.

But I'm romanticizing a bit. I suspect that whenever the next British royal ascends there will be a stronger move to dump 'em here.

It's not so much that he was slavishly following it. It's just that during Carney's tenure, he hasn't been able diverge from the Fed all that much without driving the loonie sky-high and hammering manufacturing and services in Central Canada.

I see what you mean.
posted by ~ at 8:28 PM on November 27, 2012


If they wanted the guy responsible for Canada's current fiscal health they should have picked Paul Martin.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:50 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


We Canadians are pretty laid back and complacent about just about anything as long as we've got our hockey.

And Tim Horton's coffee.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:11 PM on November 27, 2012


Slightly off-topic, but why do Canadians still put up with the whole farcical Queen thing? Surely someone can't be happy about it.

I'm sorry for perpetuating this derail, but could we have a moratorium on people from republics telling people from monarchies that their countries are wrong? We just keep going over this on Metafilter, and it's becoming tiresome, and not a little offensive.

Ok, maybe that's a little harsh, and I'm not sure where you're from to be honest, but this has come up several times in various contexts and the whole 'I don't know much about your country, but I know it's wrong' argument becoming an unpleasant recurring pattern.

Here is the short answer:

- We are a monarchy because we've been a monarchy for hundreds of years and have never not been a monarchy since European settlement began in the 17th century.

- The monarchy is generally popular in Canada, especially outside the major urban centres (with the exception of French-speaking parts of Quebec, of course). Millions of Canadians (especially aboriginal Canadians) are not only pro-monarchy, but deeply emotionally committed to it.*

- There's no particular reason to stop being a monarchy. We're still a stable and prosperous democracy with a high standard of living. A third of OECD countries are constitutional monarchies and many of us seem to be doing perfectly well.

- The only serious argument against the monarchy, that it is 'outdated' or 'antiquated' or 'behind the times', is a purely aesthetic argument. Moreover, after a few rounds, this argument almost always ends up with people saying that republics are 'good' or 'modern' or 'normal' because the United States is a republic. Yes, the Americans have a republic, and I'm very happy they like their republic, but just because the Americans are doing it, it doesn't make it 'normal' or 'the future'. It's just another way to be, no better or worse than our own.

- The other, less serious, argument is that the monarchy represents some kind of cultural domination by the UK. The answer: do things the American way, because Canada has no cultural influence from south of the border at all!

This is not to say that people are going to get offended if people from republics make anti-monarchy arguments. There are plenty of republicans in Canada, and other developed monarchies around the world, who would loudly agree with them. But whether it makes rational sense or not, people get offended when foreigners (especially those from vast countries with enormous cultural power) say gratuitously insulting things about their beloved national symbols right out of the blue.

So maybe, like I say, we can have a moratorium on people from republics expressing astonishment and dismay that other countries have their own weird, foreign, monarchical ways. If we bring up the subject, please feel free to respectfully contribute. But, please, let us bring up the subject first.

*Hell, even in large urban centres: when I went out campaigning for the Liberals, in a major urban centre in Canada, many people told me they wouldn't vote for my party because our party platform was lukewarm on the monarchy -- not because we were agin it, but because we didn't support it enough. Telling these people that the monarchy suxxors is like telling republicans that their flag is ugly and their constitution dumb: wrong, unconvincing and needlessly offensive.
posted by Dreadnought at 9:46 PM on November 27, 2012 [23 favorites]


It's been too long since Britain extracted resources from British North America.
posted by dry white toast at 10:14 PM on November 27, 2012


Hah, well, I didn't mean to imply that it's wrong certainly. My bafflement isn't that Canada is a monarchy, its that its queen is the Queen of England. Which makes the whole thing seem even more vestigial.
posted by silby at 10:15 PM on November 27, 2012


Like how often does she come by?
posted by silby at 10:15 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Elizabeth II is very popular in Canada. I honestly wonder if public opinion will shift significantly once she's gone.
posted by dry white toast at 10:17 PM on November 27, 2012


Like how often does she come by?

Every 2-3 years. And we get a visit from an HRH every year.
posted by dry white toast at 10:20 PM on November 27, 2012


Which makes the whole thing seem even more vestigial.

Exactly. We don't even have to pay for her upkeep. The only way to make our monarchy more purely symbolic would be to claim that our Queen is Elizabeth I.

It's worthwhile having a symbol that represents the distinction between the country and the current government. Look at it this way: HRM is all that's keeping Stephen Harper from donning a crown.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:28 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


Canada's Queen is not the Queen of England. She's the Queen of Canada, who also happens to be the Queen if England. In other words, the UK could abandon the Monarchy and Canada would still have a Queen.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:32 PM on November 27, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd like more links between peoples and nations, not less. I'm having a hard time seeing the harm a ceremonial figurehead that reminds us of the history of this country and our nations' common heritage is doing.
posted by Palindromedary at 10:45 PM on November 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


I prefer the emotional and ceremonial figurehead of the state to be separate from the head of government as far as is possible in the hearts and minds of its citizens, please. Be it a Governor General, a Monarch, or a piece of cheese.

Oh, and more on topic: I actually like Mark Carney quite a bit—he and Kevin Page are essentially the only two trustworthy voices in any position of power during the current regime and far from being a Goldman-Sachs flunky, he made a name for himself by advocating for well regulated leverage standards for financial institutions, limiting the ability for their catastrophic failure to hurt the public, and ultimately ensuring stakeholders themselves are responsible for the risks they take.

He also puts out a pretty good speech. (And may, in fact be the first Bank of Canada governor to be the formal speaker at a labour union convention...ever.)
posted by whittaker at 11:10 PM on November 27, 2012 [2 favorites]


I kind of wish the people slagging Carney would do a little more research. More than wonkishness, what is being exported here is Canadian pragmatism. He's done a good job in Canada (surely a better job than Mervyn King, his predecessor has done). Hopefully he can provide some stability and even growth for England, although I just can't see how an outsider has a chance at effecting change, at least before the next election.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:58 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given the way the Canadian Constitution is set up, it would be next to impossible to get rid of the Queen. As it is, it is impossible reform the Senate, a much simpler task.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:00 AM on November 28, 2012


- The only serious argument against the monarchy, that it is 'outdated' or 'antiquated' or 'behind the times', is a purely aesthetic argument.

'Only serious'? The argument that it's an anti-democratic institution isn't a 'serious' argument? To someone having legal rights beyond everyone else simply by accident of birth, that not *everyone* is equal before the law isn't a 'serious' argument?
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:26 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


As a Brit, to me the best argument against republicanism can be summed up in two words. "President Cameron." ("President Blair", "President Brown", and "President Thatcher" are all pretty compelling arguments for a monarch that reigns but doesn't rule - or for Canadians, I believe "President Harper" hits a simmilar discordant note). We do not have to give automatic respect to our legislative head just for being there.

If I were setting up a new country I wouldn't make it a monarchy. But Constitutional Monarchies aren't broken and don't need fixing.
posted by Francis at 4:36 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've always been of the opinion that the head of state should be a dog, to make it clear that the position is a completely meaningless one.

In this respect Liz makes a very fine head of state for Canada, because no-one gives a shit what she thinks about anything.
posted by unSane at 5:08 AM on November 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Elizabeth II is very popular in Canada. I honestly wonder if public opinion will shift significantly once she's gone.
Yeah, I think a lot of support for monarchy is pure sentimentalism. Once Elizabeth is gone it will be a different kettle of fish with Charles. Diehards will wave the old "whattabout President Blair?!?!?!?!" argument, like it's some kind of deep reasoning, but support will lower and keep lower for good.
posted by Jehan at 6:51 AM on November 28, 2012


As a Brit, to me the best argument against republicanism can be summed up in two words. "President Cameron."

The succinct reply might just be "Bundespraesident."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:13 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a Brit, to me the best argument against republicanism can be summed up in two words. "President Cameron." ("President Blair", "President Brown", and "President Thatcher" are all pretty compelling arguments for a monarch that reigns but doesn't rule - or for Canadians, I believe "President Harper" hits a simmilar discordant note).

If you abolished the monarchy, you could still have a prime minister and a ceremonial president. I mean, how many people outside of Germany have heard of Joachim Gauck?
posted by KokuRyu at 7:17 AM on November 28, 2012


The real question is why Americans put up with having presidential elections every 4 years.

(Actual content: Does Mark Carney really deserve his reputation as a super-banker?. To be honest I find it quite odd that this is a news story at all. I don't remember other central bankers getting this kind of coverage.)
posted by cdward at 8:13 AM on November 28, 2012


The succinct reply might just be "Bundespraesident."

Ha! I'm obviously a die-hard monarchist, but I would honestly love to see somebody in power advance the German model of governance for the UK, just to see the reactions from the tabloid papers. My betting: the Daily Express would burst, spontaneously, into flame.

Response from republicans: 'What? I thought monarchists would like seeing more German imports as head of state!'
posted by Dreadnought at 8:27 AM on November 28, 2012


The argument that it's an anti-democratic institution isn't a 'serious' argument?

Well, at the moment, no it's not a good argument because plenty of places with monarchies are perfectly functional democracies. In this case it's like saying Upper Canada Village in harming democracy because it celebrates a way of life before many classes of people could vote, and this is why we get offended when people bash our monarchy- our system doesn't give these crown wearing people useful power, just a salary, a budget to maintain the historical properties they live in (which they inherited), and perpetual public scrutiny.
posted by Phalene at 10:32 AM on November 28, 2012


It's a little disturbing that England can treat the Bank of Canada like it's a farm team, but maybe Carney can make more of a difference in a country that is currently adrift when it comes to monetary policy. He's going to have a very interesting five years, anyway. As the "foreigner" he can make changes without losing face, because he wasn't involved in making the original mistakes.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:02 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I keep worrying that Carney knows something and is deserting the Canadian ship just as it's about to founder.

The (unfounded, unsourced) rumour that I heard was that he's deserting the Conservative ship that he doesn't think is going to be governing much in the next decade after the next election. But who knows.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 11:26 AM on November 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


this is why we get offended when people bash our monarchy

Just so you know, Phalene, Capt. Renault is a Hamiltonian.

our system doesn't give these crown wearing people useful power, just a salary, a budget to maintain the historical properties they live in (which they inherited), and perpetual public scrutiny.

Actually, our system doesn't even give them that much. The reason the UK government pays for the royals (a system currently known as the 'civil list', but which is being reorganised and renamed next year) is that George III made a deal in which he would give all the revenue over from his private lands in return for an allowance which would be controlled by parliament. The system was then such that that the monarch's personal finances would be controlled by the democratic representatives of the people, but that the democratic representatives would have play nice and keep being democratic or the monarch could take back their own finances and support themselves with a much bigger pool of money (plus, you know, the army) until another election could be called.

Every year, the queen pays the UK government about £200 million, and gets back about £8 million in return.

Canada, thus, actually pays more for the GG than the UK does for the whole crown system, because Canadians have to pay for Rideau Hall out of taxes, while Brits get a head of state who's massively revenue positive for the civil government.
posted by Dreadnought at 11:50 AM on November 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


(Actual content: Does Mark Carney really deserve his reputation as a super-banker?.

Asks a professional photographer.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:51 PM on November 28, 2012


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