BOE Deputy Governor Forced To Apologize For Calling UK Economy "Menopausal"
The snafu may cloud Broadbent’s future at the centuries-old central bank. In a recent Bloomberg survey of economists, he was seen as the second-favorite, behind FCA chief Andrew Bailey, to succeed Carney at the top of bank next year.
Broadbent, the longest-serving MPC member, was educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and worked previously at the U.K. Treasury. Most importantly, he has that most important pre-requisite needed for every successful central banker: to have worked at Goldman Sachs at some point in his career. His current term expires in June 2019.
It’s not the first time a BOE official has landed himself in hot water during a newspaper interview. In 2016, Chief Economist Andy Haldane sparked controversy when he suggested in an interview with the Sunday Times that buying a home was a better investment than a pension.
That said, apart from the poor choice of words, Broadbent is hardly wrong, as growth in the UK has been sluggish and Broadbent gave the interview after BoE official figures noted that productivity fell 0.5% in the first three months of 2018, at a time when employment figures in the UK hit a fresh high but growth slowed to just 0.1%.
Meanwhile, the BoE seems to be becoming a laughing stock at the moment with Governor Carney being brandished as "the unreliable boyfriend" and now his right hand man Broadbent has just all he could to further sink the credibility of the UK central bank.
Finally, as Bloomberg's Richard Breslow writes in an amusing tangent this morning:
"It’s a shame that the unfortunate comments by BOE Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent in trying to explain “climacteric” are getting all of the headlines. His other statement from yesterday’s Telegraph interview was the important one. He said that the Bank won’t continuously “spoon feed” traders on the state of play of interest rates and their timing. And they should stop whinging about that. He isn’t suggesting this as a pedagogic device. Rather to explain that everyone is looking at the same numbers and the situation is fluid. It’s true for central bankers and investors the world over. This is something everyone needs to keep in mind when forecasting the next market moves and while resisting the temptation to extrapolate things ad infinitum."