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The carneyage of Mystic Mark

It is said that once people start laughing at you, you are completely finished. I think Mark Carney may have reached that point:

The scene is the governor’s office at the Bank of England. Mark Carney is talking to an aide.

Governor, about your forthcoming speech to the chambers of commerce.


It seems to be about alien life forms.

You’ve seen the news from Mars?

I have, but this speech is supposed to be about labour flexibility and the downside risks to productivity.

You don’t see the downside risks from extremophile bacteria in the briny water on Mars?

Not in the short to medium term, Governor.

Read the whole thing...

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Reader Comments (21)


credibility is key to the job of a central banker -- being mocked by the FT is not part of the job description

Oct 2, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Tol

I don't get to see anything. Just a request from the FT to pay them some money....

Oct 2, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

Dodgy, you can sneak under the paywall by googling some of the text then clicking on the google link, then answering a couple of simple survey questions. (I'd have thought a dodgy geezer would know that trick!)

There is also an article in the Telegraph criiticising / making fun of Carney.

"What next? The war in Syria? Come to think of it, why not put the Bank of England in charge of everything?"

"There was, however, also something faintly reckless and naive about the Governor’s intervention...."

Oct 2, 2015 at 12:13 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Dodgy Geezer

Try Google search "Mystic Mark Carney" - worked for me

Oct 2, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

...(I'd have thought a dodgy geezer would know that trick!)...

I did. But I thought that the lack of direct access to the reference needed airing....

Oct 2, 2015 at 12:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterDodgy Geezer

I never doubted that he knows nothing about climate ... but until I read the articles, I'd forgotten just how precarious the last banking crisis was.

Oct 2, 2015 at 12:34 PM | Registered CommenterMikeHaseler

Mocked in the Times today as well today (behind paywall)

Starts off "Being the world’s leading expert on climate change is typically a full-time job. So it’s easy to forget that Mark Carney also has a part-time role as governor of the Bank of England, proving himself the man for a forecast immediately overtaken by events."

Ends "If he ever sets a target for the ice caps melting, buy a boat."

The middle is a list of failed/useless targets.

Oct 2, 2015 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterson of mulder

The clear and present danger is less extremophiles ( present company included) , than space probes contaminating Mars with Benthic Bacteria from Planet Limbaugh.

Oct 2, 2015 at 1:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

... and in the Mail.

Is that you or your eco-warrior wife speaking Mark?
Carney feels heat after saying 'climate change could cause new crash'
Bank of England boss Mark Carney under fire for climate change comment
He claimed that the environmental issue could trigger a financial crisis
But critics say he is 'politicising' the job and operating outside his remit

Oct 2, 2015 at 1:11 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Sturridge to score the winner 5 minutes from time?
Everton are on fire at the moment and he's only just back from injury. Probably won't be on the pitch 5 minutes from time... Brave call that.

This is a most unrealistic sketch about a climate activist.
They never make predictions that are readily testable.

Oct 2, 2015 at 1:21 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

M Courtney - I had a slightly different take on the Carney's Everton - Liverpool match forecast. I thought I might sell the house and put the lot on Everton.

Oct 2, 2015 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlesB

"Oats, dear boy. oats !"
These uxorious bankers need to keep the little woman satisfied !

Oct 2, 2015 at 1:36 PM | Unregistered Commentertoad

Of far greater relevance to the well being of the nation and its economy, why.....WHY did anyone get the idea that Carney had even the remotest clue about banking?

Climate change is where it's at for Mark and boy did he prove it the other night, yet even calling him a whack job it just doesn't cut it.

Oct 2, 2015 at 1:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

Well it's amazing what bankers can believe. They believed that slicing up toxic debt and distributing the slices widely somehow made it less toxic. They believed that Alan Greenspan was the Oracle of Delphi. They believed the era of boom and bust was behind us thanks to their spanking new numeric models of risk. And let's face it; for a jolly good yearly bonus they'd sell the rest of us out in a heartbeat. Our only purpose is to bail them out.. So all Carney has to do to bring them on board his sinking ship of fools is to underwrite their bad bets with funny money created at the stroke of a pen.

Oct 2, 2015 at 2:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Apparently, for after dinner speaking, he's considered a wit of a banker.

Oct 2, 2015 at 2:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterssat

The new Little Ice Age: chilly con Carney.......

I thaankk yooou

Oct 2, 2015 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

Mystic Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s new seer
Robert Shrimsley for The FT, October 1, 2015 3:51 pm

‘Britain’s SMEs will find it far harder to sell their goods once the cosmos is ruled by Martians’

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney speaks at a dinner at LLoyd's of London, September 29, 2015.

Carney said on Tuesday that companies must be more open about their "climate change footprint" to avoid abrupt changes in asset prices that could destabilize markets. The speed at which assets such as coal, oil and gas reserves are re-priced to reflect the impact of climate change is vital to reduce potentially "huge" financial risks to British insurers and other investors, he said.

Mark Carney, rock-star Bank of England governor, surprised many observers with a speech that strayed some way from his traditional beat into a discussion of climate change and the risks it poses to investors.

The scene is the governor’s office at the Bank of England. Mark Carney is talking to an aide.

Governor, about your forthcoming speech to the chambers of commerce.


It seems to be about alien life forms.

You’ve seen the news from Mars?

I have, but this speech is supposed to be about labour flexibility and the downside risks to productivity.

You don’t see the downside risks from extremophile bacteria in the briny water on Mars?

Not in the short to medium term, Governor.

The future is closer than you think. This planet could become a stranded asset once the Martian microbes of doom reach us. This is a serious matter. Britain’s small businesses will find it far harder to sell their goods and services once the cosmos is ruled by Martians reaching us from our next-door neighbour in the solar system. The insurance industry is far from prepared for that eventuality. This is a macroprudential issue if ever I saw one.

There is no reason to think that Martians are about to arrive in Britain, Mr Governor.

No, they’ll come in through Greece first, but once they are in the EU we cannot prevent them travelling here.

Governor, I do wonder if we might be wandering too far off theme. This is not our field of expertise.

Neither is climate change but you saw how well that speech went down. It went viral. Do you know how hard it is for a governor’s speech to start trending on Twitter? This one had its own hashtag. I knew it was the right way to go. People are looking to the Bank of England for forward guidance.

Yes, sir, but mostly in the field of monetary policy.

Monetary policy is boring — we haven’t moved interest rates since I got here. Janet Yellen can’t even predict what she’s going to do in three weeks’ time. Whenever I try to say something interesting, the markets take a dive and we end up saying it will be some time next year. We need to branch out — we need to bring the authority of the Bank into other areas of people’s lives.

Governor, I do feel this may damage the Bank’s credibility.

Nonsense, we need to be where people need us. Warning of risks, setting out dangers, letting them know that investments can go up as well as down, offering statistical analysis of the most likely numbers to come up in the National Lottery. Making ourselves relevant to the public.

I see Governor, what else did you have in mind?

The Great British Bake Off.

You can predict the winner of The Great British Bake Off?

Not the winner exactly, but I had a dream last night and I think the outcome will have something to do with flans.

Do you really think....

Wait, wait — I’m getting a feeling...George Osborne for prime minister in 2019.

Well that’s obviously a strong possibility Governor, if the economy holds strong. Are you forecasting the degree of growth necessary to ensure an Osborne victory?

You’re right, we don’t want to be diverted down that path. How about Everton v Liverpool this weekend, Daniel Sturridge to score the winner five minutes from time.

I do think people are looking to you for more long-term thinking, Governor.

OK, Sunderland to be relegated.


What’s your star-sign?

I’m not sure, Sagittarius I think.

Sagittarius. Beware of falling masonry while Jupiter is aligned with the blood moon.

Thank you for the advice.

And about my dinner suit. I think traditional black tie is rather drab, don’t you think? We want to make an impact here. Something that says, “This is the Bank of England talking, dammit.” Maybe something with a few rhinestones?


Call me Mystic Mark.

Oct 2, 2015 at 8:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterPcar

Tallbloke's highlighted Carney's Goldman Sachs' background.

Oct 2, 2015 at 8:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

"I see Governor, what else did you have in mind?"

"The Great British Bake Off."

"...followed by the U.C. twit of the year."

Oct 2, 2015 at 10:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

Hi from Oz. If you think Mark Carney is "a prawn short of a barbie" (bbq) as we say down here about wee daffies, you must read this lunacy by our own Dr Bob Brown, who until fairly recently was head of the Australian Greens and believe it or not a long-serving federal Greens Senator for Tasmania:

Bob Brown delivers the 3rd annual Green Oration, 23 March 2012

It begins:

"Fellow Earthians,

Never before has the Universe unfolded such a flower as our collective human intelligence, so far as we know.

Nor has such a one-and-only brilliance in the Universe stood at the brink of extinction, so far as we know.

We people of the Earth exist because our potential was there in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, as the Universe exploded into being.

So far, it seems like we are the lone thinkers in this vast, expanding Universe." etc. etc.

Wonderful stuff - I'm amazed that they the new Greens leader hasn't had the sense to take down this embarrassment.

I think it proves the old saying: "There's nothing as queer as folk"!

Oct 3, 2015 at 5:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterBoyfromTottenham

Excellent fun about the blarney from Carney.

On a more serious note, just how much fossil fuel can we burn given the range of climate sensitivity?

This from Euan Mearns: When you take on board the fact that in AR5, climate sensitivity estimates ranged from 1.5 to 4.5 ˚C then you’ll realise that these probability statements are pure baloney. At 1.5˚C or below, there is near 100% probability that we can burn everything we can get our hands on with impunity. At 4.5˚C it probably too late already to make a meaningful difference.

Oct 6, 2015 at 1:46 AM | Unregistered Commenterrogue

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