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0 Comments What Happened to Carney-mania?

Article written by Boris Bozic on the 15 Feb 2013 in Current Events

I suspect it didn’t take long for Mark Carney to conclude, after testifying before the U.K Treasury Select committee, that life might a little different for him in the U.K.  Nothing to do with culture or driving on the wrong side of the road.  Going from Rock Star status in Canada to please justify your salary, your yearly housing allowance, and why should we except an interloper to be the next Governor of the Bank of England, is a tad different from what Mr. Carney has been experiencing in his native homeland.  In Canada it’s Careymanaia, in the U.K.,  it’s not what have you done for us lately but rather you’ve done nothing for us to date, therefore, we’ll treat you as such.  Check out some of these British headlines about Carney.  The Sun, “Heavy Metal Fan to Run Bank of England”.  Why?  The Sun found out that Carney would blast AC/DC’s Back in Black before he played hockey while at Harvard.    The Daily Mail, “Jolly Hockey Sticks English Wife”, referring to Carney’s wife who is now open game.  The Telegraph also let be known that Mrs. Carney was fair game.  “Mrs. Carney, who met her husband, Mark, at Oxford, is Vice-President of Canada 2020, a left wing think tank, and reviews environmentally friendly products”.  Oh my god, and they’re going to let her into the country? They also referred to her as an “eco-warrior” and that she believes “banks are rotten”.  Until I started doing some research for this blog I had no idea about Mrs. Carney or Mark Carney’s musical tastes, and nor do I care.  But they do in Britain, and he’s treatment by the U.K. press will be nothing like what he’s  accustomed too.  No gushing in the U.K. 

I must confess that I did not watch Carney’s entire performance before the U.K. Treasury Select committee.  I caught little snippets of the hearing and based on what I saw I came to the following conclusion; if political stupidity and inane questions were an Olympic sport, Canada wouldn’t come close to the podium.  U.S. –  Gold, Britain – Silver, and any country from the Balkans – Bronze.  One of the esteemed U.K. Treasury Select committee members asked Carney to explain liquidity.  When the camera zoomed in on Carney for the answer, I could swear he had that “Did I just hear this moron right?  I’m the Governor of the Bank of Canada, and he thinks he can stump me  with this question” look on his face.  There was a doozy of a follow up question from the President of the Mensa Society, “Are you familiar with QE3?”  I have to hand it to Carney, from what I witnessed he was extraordinarily patient and he played the game.  But I’m looking forward to the book Carney will write at some point in the future, and I hope he shares his thoughts about the first public grilling he took in the U.K.  As for the committee member who asked these questions I suspect his thoughts were not unlike Homer Simpson’s, “okay brain, I don’t like you and you don’t like me… Just get me through this hearing and I’ll go back to killing you slowly with Guinness”. (Note to reader: the last line works much better if you read it out loud while impersonating Homer Simpson).

The Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and economic messiah status Carney experienced in Canada will soon be a thing of the past.  It’s time to put the big boy pants on and get ready to play in a much different school yard.  Besides setting monetary policy for the third largest economy in Europe, Carney will have to deal with a press who can’t wait for him to stumble.  They’ll poke an prod into his personal life, and the paparazzi rule in the U.K.  His new salary is three times greater than what he earned as Governor of the Bank of Canada.  That’s more than fair because his grief is going to increase tenfold.

Until next time


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