Canadian central banker Mark Carney is the surprise outsider choice to be the next governor of the Bank of England, said Alistair McDonald in The Wall Street Journal. The first foreigner to hold the post in the bank’s 318-year history, Carney will not only set Britain’s interest rates, but also exercise new supervisory powers over the country’s banks. In his four years heading the Bank of Canada, Carney earned high praise for loosening monetary policy and slashing interest rates well ahead of his peers elsewhere. The 47-year-old marathon runner and former investment banker is seen as a savvy diplomat “who isn’t afraid to clash” with bankers—qualities that last year earned him the nod to head the Financial Stability Board, an international body tasked with reforming the global financial system.
Carney’s appointment is “a signal of how much the world of central banking has changed in the aftermath of the financial crisis,” said Neil Irwin in WashingtonPost.com. Central bankers must now do far more than keep inflation low; they are expected to “ferret out risks to the financial system and stop them,” whether it’s spotting asset bubbles or understanding the risks of new financial products. Carney is a “master of this delicate intersection.”