Some of it was on-message, helpful to the government, some of it not – Sir Mervyn King’s (Governor of the Bank of England) interview on Channel 4 News was fascinating. There had been a lot of media training – none of the academic essays he can sometimes speak in.
He gave George Osborne the green light to dump the fiscal rule on debt reduction by 2015 – “if it’s the world economy” that’s the problem and slowing growth is missing the debt target OK? He said it was “arguable to move in that direction.”
On banking reform though, the normally gnomic, rarely controversial governor effectively raised the flag of rebellion for the parliamentary stages of the banking reform bill. Sir Mervyn said he wanted the Vickers report implemented in its original, tougher form – and opposed the dilution of those reforms in the white paper.