James Moore: Job vacancy for Bank Governor. Most of you need not apply
James Moore is the Independent's Associate Business Editor and writes the Outlook City comment column from Tuesday to Friday. He also has a keen interest in disability issues and when not attempting to further injure himself playing wheelchair basketball.
Wednesday 12 September 2012
Outlook Apparently finding someone to succeed Sir Mervyn King as Governor of the Bank of England is proving a tad difficult. So the Treasury has resorted to advertising in The Economist, on the Government appointments website and at the new jobcentreplus on Threadneedle Street which is doing a roaring trade among the growing number of unemployed City folk.
According to the spin this is part of the Coalition's "commitment to a proper process that enables the best person for the job to be appointed". This will fool precisely no one.
Members of the interview panel will probably already know personally the handful of people capable of making the shortlist, which will have been drawn up in their heads – with an asterix against the preferred candidate's name – weeks ago.
Still if you fancy a crack here's the ad, with some explanatory notes:
The Governor will work closely with the Chancellor of the Exchequer and H M Treasury, which is responsible for setting the framework under which the Bank operates. An ability to provide lessons in basic economics to a Chancellor who's having a few problems with the syllabus would be advantageous.
The new Governor will lead the Bank through major reforms to the regulatory system, including the transfer of new responsibilities that will see the Bank take the lead in safeguarding the stability of the UK financial system. Knowledge of the history of the Bank and Britain's other financial regulators would be of help here: if it all goes wrong, hold up your hands and say no one could have foreseen the financial crisis. Then blame someone else.
The successful candidate must demonstrate that they can successfully lead, influence and manage the change in the Bank's responsibilities, inspiring confidence and credibility both within the Bank and throughout financial markets. In other words, accept that while setting interest rates appears to be one of your key tasks, in reality you have no room for manoeuvre. They're going to have to remain at zero and you're going to be reliant on printing money when the economy needs a boost – unless you're successful with those economics lessons for the Chancellor.
The successful candidate will have experience of working in, or with, a central bank or similar institution; or will have worked at the most senior level in a major bank or other financial institution. He or she (in other words, he) will demonstrate strong leadership, management and policy skills; will have an advanced understanding of financial markets and good economic knowledge. He or she will be a strong communicator, have good interpersonal skills and will be a person of undisputed integrity and standing. So they can pretend to be concerned about inflation and make the City believe it, even though they have almost no power to influence it.
We welcome applications from candidates with disabilities. Actually, that isn't on the ad. But wheelchair users and seriously ill candidates judged fit to work by Atos should be OK to apply.
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