Business

Mark Carney welcomed by media to Bank of England post

Mark Carney
Image caption Most observers - once over the shock at his unexpected appointment - have warmly welcomed Mark Carney as the new Bank governor

Mark Carney's name was barely known outside banking circles.

He was not even on Bank-watchers' list of candidates - not least because he had publicly said he was not interested in the job.

But after the initial surprise, the media were quick to pick up on the fine reputation he enjoys with his peers and greet his appointment as Bank of England governor.

Although he is a Canadian national, his wife is British and he has spent years here himself, first studying at Oxford University, then spending part of his career at investment bankers Goldman Sachs in this country.

The Canadian was one of five candidates in line for the post, replacing Sir Mervyn King whose time at the Bank will end in July next year.

The Financial Times' reception of Mr Carney leads the welcome party.

It starts with a straightforward front-page headline "Canadian to take helm at Bank", with its leader column hailing the "bold choice for Bank of England".

'Quality'

Elsewhere the paper's columnists enjoy exploring that choice.

Martin Wolf, one of the most respected economic columnists around, calls Mr Carney an "exceptional person" and "a man of quality".

Also on the comment page sits Janan Ganesh, who says the move marks the end of the Chancellor, George Osborne's reputation for political caution.

He says the cold calculation that helped him rise to the top has given way to a taste for daring. He also says the appointment is designed to send a signal to the world that the UK is a global place, open for business where nationality means less than talent.

That theme is picked up by the Times's business editor, Ian King, who says the appointment shows the talent that Britain is capable of attracting, when its "gormless" immigration policy permits, is the world's best.

But he warns the choice could be a bruising one for the Bank itself, saying the introduction of a foreigner to a central bank, unthinkable in Germany or the US, implies the chancellor thinks the Bank is in need of reform.

Elsewhere the paper calls him a "hard man for a tough job", and says Mr Carney is "simply the best".

Hockey fields

The Daily Telegraph, explores the reform theme, although its focus is on reforming the UK economy. Its business-page lead says the City faces radical change.

The paper says Mr Carney is more "hawkish" - tough on inflation - than Sir Mervyn, and that interest-rate rises may be in store.

It also points to a fall in bank shares on Monday after the announcement, signalling concerns he might push through painful reforms to the lenders, something the Bank will be in charge of next year when it takes over responsibility for regulation from the Financial Service Authority.

The Guardian plays with the football manager simile used by the BBC's business editor, Robert Peston, who likened Mr Osborne's move to a club owner bagging Sir Alex Ferguson.

Writing in the paper, Larry Elliot suggests he is a "Sven for Threadneedle Street".

He says it is a familiar story of years of underperformance and a lack of enthusiasm for home-grown candidates. Like other writers, he welcomes the "bold and interesting" choice. But he warns that, like Sven-Goran Eriksson, if Mr Carney fails to deliver, he will find that approval will turn to derision.

There is also a warning for Mr Carney in the Daily Mail. Its veteran commentator Alex Brummer's column states he is as "sharp as a tack - and by God he'll need to be".

Brummer runs through the challenges.

He will preside over a Bank whose job will grow exponentially when it takes over policing the banks, whose borrowings are four times the size of their balance sheet.

Next, what to do about high inflation, which technically is curbed by higher interest rates - which, in turn, need to be kept low to help economic growth.

And what about the Bank itself, where tradition keeps pink-coated waiters guarding the corridors and a "court" in charge of its doings, rather than a board of directors?

The Mail would not be the Mail without a feminising angle. So it runs a profile of Mr Carney's wife.

"A classic English rose... she first caught the new governor of the Bank of England's eye on the hockey fields of Oxford," it begins.