Pension Off The Old Lady!



Kamal Ahmed asks how far the Bank of England will need to change under its new governor.

The role of Governor of the Bank of England is one of the most important in the financial world. Mark Carney, whose appointment was announced in November by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, will have vast oversight of everything from the level of mortgage finance to the way the British financial system functions. The role is unique in its power, scope and influence.

So what should the new Governor's plan for Britain's economic future be? In this programme, Kamal Ahmed considers the prospects for jobs, growth and economic well-being under the new Governor. And he examines what will be the likely impact on the value of everyone's debts, borrowings and savings.

For some observers, the Bank of England failed to see the approach of the financial crisis and, when it did arrive, did not act decisively to mitigate its effects. Responsible for targeting inflation at 2%, managing monetary policy and smoothing the economic cycle, the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street - as the Bank is known in the City of London - has, they claim, consistently disappointed. And we have all paid the price.

Yet others argue that it has done no worse than other major central banks. Ministers seem to agree: the government is making the Bank responsible for more of the UK's financial system.

Talking to former Bank insiders, prominent politicians, business leaders, economists and bankers, Kamal Ahmed asks what lessons the Bank needs to draw from its role in the crisis. Given its new responsibilities, what and how does it need to change about how it is currently run and managed? Can it be made more effective - while also being properly accountable for its actions? And should it emulate how other central banks do their job or do its own thing?

Producer Simon Coates.