Mark Carney takes swipe at Mervyn King

Mark Carney takes swipe at Mervyn King

Mr Posen’s comments were the strongest criticism so far from a recent member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee alleging Sir Mervyn’s lack of accountability. He said the governor rejected alternative views on how to boost the economy and excluded external members of the committee, who are appointed by the finance minister, from key discussions.

Other critics have derided the current governor as an authoritarian “Sun King”, although, in fact, the Bank’s structure allows for more open debate than at the European Central Bank or Bank of Canada.

Mr Carney, who is also chairman of the Group of 20’s Financial Stability Board, spoke to reporters after the Canadian central bank announced it was holding interest rates steady and that the need to increase rates was “less imminent”.

As for the Bank of England’s policy moves, he praised the Monetary Policy Committee for doing what he called an “admirable job under extremely difficult circumstances” and said he was happy that Sir Mervyn would serve as governor through the end of June.

Britain’s economy has recovered much more slowly than its peers from the 2008-09 financial crisis and inflation has been above its 2 percent goal since December 2009. On Tuesday, King said he stood ready to provide more stimulus if needed, though economists don’t expect the central bank to add to its £375bn of asset purchases any time soon.

Mr Carney also said the Bank of England had played a key role in coordinating the global response to the crisis.

“Their analysis and leadership was a very important element in addressing the worst of the crisis,” he said.

He declined to say how he felt about Prime Minister David Cameron’s promise of a referendum by the end of 2017 on whether Britain should stay in the European Union. The Bank of England would manage its own mandate of price stability and financial stability within whatever political context the government and the British people decide, Mr Carney said.

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