Sunday, June 25, 2006

Who will Gordon appoint to the MPC?

A quick look on Google News shows that reports about the death of David Walton - member of the interest rate setting Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the Bank of England - passed by mainly in the business pages. There was a small comment piece by George Trefgarne in the Telegraph, but apart from that no one has talked about it much. This is odd given it has a significant political dimension.

As Trefgarne points out, the independence of the Bank of England can be rather questionable, especially when you look at how people are appointed to it. Four of the nine positions are in Gordon Brown's patronage, and he probably controls another three (the Governor, and two deputies) as they're appointed by the Queen, on advice from the Prime Minister. It's safe to assume that Blair takes Gordon's lead on those recommendations. It pretty clear that for all its "independence" the MPC is a bit of a loaded deck in favour of the Treasury.

I wonder what Gordon will do? Either way, I hope we'll be asking the Treasury some questions about the subject. After all, the positions are essentially sinecures, we could end up being lumbered with Gordon's "yes men" for a very long time.

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