Mark Carney has accepted a position as the Governor of the Bank of England effective next July. The move had been rumoured in the Financial Times in April this year, and many commentators had thought it was perhaps far-fetched, considering the fact that Carney is not a citizen of the U.K. or any European country.
Nevertheless, this is a boon for the Bank of England. Mark Carney is an unusual breed of central bankers. People point to his youth, but it is his strong private sector experience with great determination to protect the public good of international financial stability that sets him apart. This was most visible at the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) annual meetings in September 2011, when Carney and Jamie Dimon, President and CEO of JP Morgan, had a heated exchange about the merits of enhanced regulation of the financial industry. Carney stood his ground and was vindicated when Dimon attacked Carney's stance on increased financial regulation, arguing this would potentially hinder economic recovery.
Carney, unlike a lot of people in his position, has a real understanding of the international financial system from all sides. His private and public sector experience is not necessarily unique, but he has often been pointed out as one of the few people in the international financial community that simply "gets how it works." The truth is, this is a complex and multilayered system that most experts only understand small segments of. Carney, unlike most industry insiders, actually gets how the pieces fit together. No wonder that in 2011 he was chosen to lead the Financial Stability Board, which serves to monitor and assess the financial linkages that bind our complex system together.
The Bank of England needs a man like Mark Carney. With its close proximity to the City of London, one of the strongest financial centres of the world and a gateway to European financial nodes, his expertise is understandably in high demand. All those who know Mark Carney, know he is an ambitious and intelligent man, so it is no surprise that this move has happened. Our Canadian economy has immensely benefited from his tenure at the Bank of Canada, and the Bank of England is now fortunate to have him.