Anthony Hilton: MPC unity just courtesy for the new Governor


The rock-star treatment of the new Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, continued this week when it was learnt that the previously split Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) had become united at his first meeting. 

This was variously attributed – by those who were not at the meeting  – to his charisma, his leadership  or his vision, and it generally was thought to be a good thing.

Actually, I think it is a bad thing. It is not natural for economists to be in agreement, because economics is not a science and nothing in it is certain. There is one reason not to rock the boat at the first meeting, and that is to show the new man courtesy in allowing him time to get his feet under the table. But the next meeting should be back to business and division as usual.

The MPC is made up of roughly half Bank of England staff and half independent outsiders. Its division has been its strength. Long may  it continue.