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02/07/2013

Bank of England Governor-designate Mark Carney defends himself at British committee

Mark Carney
A video grab image shows Mark Carney, the next governor of the Bank of England, answering questions from a parliamentary committee in the Houses of Parliament in central London Feb. 7. (Reuters/U.K. Parliament)

Bank of England Governor-designate Mark Carney is in the hot seat Thursday in London, addressing a British government committee on how he plans to manage the U.K.’s stumbling economy.

Already, the newspapers are having a field day, saying Carney is plotting an “assault” on the Bank of England. Carney, the first-non Brit to lead the bank in generations, is being painted as bit of a financial rockstar and rogue by the British press, who are already hounding and following him around.

Carney told the committee he didn’t have any British political ambitions and if he entered politics, it’d be in Canada. This is one of the first times he has acknowledged what many Ottawa reporters have chased.

Carney has certainly left the door open to eventually come back to Canada to enter politics. That should make the Liberals, who've been courting him, quite happy. 

Carney opened today with submitting a written statement nearly 45 pages long. Read it here.

He began with answering how his experience leading Canada's central bank has prepared him for the challenges of England’s financial system – which is in crisis as it faces moving into a triple dip recession.

As Governor of a G7 central bank, I have led a team with a proven track record of monetary policy management. I have extensive experience operating a Flexible Inflation Targeting regime. The Bank of Canada has consistently achieved its inflation target, while the Canadian economy has grown jobs and output at the fastest pace in the G7,” he wrote.

Carney went on to add much of what he does is communicate to the public about complex economic and financial concepts through public speeches, outreach events, press conferences and so on.

“During my tenure, the Bank of Canada has renewed Canada’s monetary policy framework. The new framework better defines Flexible Inflation Targeting and clarifies the role of macroprudential instruments and objectives. Through a targeted and persistent public communications strategy, these changes were introduced to public acceptance,” he added.

“As Governor, I chair the Bank of Canada’s Financial Stability Policy committee and am a member of the Canadian multi-agency committees for microprudential supervision, macroprudential oversight and deposit insurance.”

Carney is also a big player on the world stage – a main reason why British PM David Cameron pursued him vigorously to lead the Bank of England.

READ MORE: Mark Carney outlines policy, defends salary in first U.K. appearance

Tanya Talaga is the Star’s Global Economics Reporter. Follow her on Twitter @tanyatalaga

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