A few weeks ago I wondered who Gordon Brown would appoint to the MPC. Yesterday, following criticism of the appointment process by MPs and the Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King, Brown finally announced the names of the two economists who will join the committee that sets the UK interest rate. The first is a professor at the LSE called Timothy Besley, and the second is the chief economist at British Airways, Andrew Sentance. They will not however join the committee formerly until the autumn.
So who are these two and will they change the balance of the MPC? It's fair to say that Timothy Besley is an unknown quantity. His academic work gives no real indication of how he may vote, however, Andrew Sentance appears to be a different matter. Unlike his recently passed predecessor, David Watson, Sentance appears to be a be an advocate of interest rate cuts.
In recent months Watson had been arguing for a rise in rates. At the same time the new man Sentance, as member of the Times "shadow MPC", had voted for a rate cut in both March and April. It seems therefore - by implication at least - the MPC is about to become slightly more "dovish" toward rate rises.
We shouldn't really be surprised with this though as it undoubtedly suits Brown. Having a rate-cutting MPC in place instead a rate-rising one, means that should Brown call a snap election he'll have something to shout about at the hustings.