Davies weighs up the job he couldn't refuse

BY JOHN WILLCOCK

Financial Correspondent

Howard Davies, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, yesterday gave an upbeat assessment of how his current views on interest rates, a single European currency and industrial policy already dovetail with those needed in his new job, deputy governor of the Bank of England.

Mr Davies said he was especially pleased that the Bank would provide him with a secure bike park in Threadneedle Street, enabling him to continue to cycle to work.

"I was approached by the Bank along with quite a few other people soon after Rupert Pennant-Rea resigned.

"I obviously can't maintain that it was a planned career move, but the combination of management and macro-economic issued at the highest level was too fascinating an opportunity to pass up," he said.

While the CBI had criticised some interest rate moves over the past few years, he thought another rise was not immediately needed - but it might be necessary if there were another big disturbance in the foreign exchange markets. The CBI world view as defender of industry and that of the Bank were already converging. The Governor receives the CBI surveys and gets more details about the real economy than the Treasury or the Department of Trade and Industry, he said.

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