Reign over: Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King bows out with no change in the monetary policy committee

 

Outgoing Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King brought down the curtain on 16 years of policymaking today, but failed to persuade rate-setting colleagues to pump more cash into the economy.

King is the last remaining ever-present monetary policy committee (MPC) member since the Bank was granted operational independence in May 1997, sitting in a total of 194 meetings firstly as chief economist and for the last 10 years as Governor.

But the MPC today voted not to expand quantitative easing beyond the current £375 billion, and held interest rates at their current record low of 0.5 per cent, where they have been lodged since 2009.

King and Bank director Paul Fisher joined David Miles in pushing for extra stimulus in February, although a majority has been unwilling to sanction further money-printing as the economy shows signs of picking up pace in the current quarter.

King’s term ends on June 30 when he hands over to Canadian Mark Carney.  An examination of King’s overall voting record puts him among the committee’s more hawkish members, with 30 votes to raise rates against 23 to cut over the past 16 years, compared with the MPC’s 19 rate hikes and 26 cuts.

But since the financial crisis, the Governor has switched into the dovish camp, with more frequent votes for quantitative easing as well as larger doses of stimulus.

Assuming he maintained his call for more QE today, he has voted for money printing 13 times whereas the MPC has voted to do more seven times.

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