Mervyn Allister King
According to the Bank of England web site, in July 2003, Mervyn Allister King assumed leadership as the "Governor of the Bank of England and ... Chairman of the Monetary Policy Committee. He was previously Deputy Governor from 1998 to 2003, and Chief Economist and Executive Director from 1991. Mervyn King was a non-executive director of the Bank from 1990 to 1991.
"Born in 1948, Mervyn King studied at King's College, Cambridge, and Harvard (as a Kennedy Scholar) and taught at Cambridge and Birmingham Universities before spells as Visiting Professor at both Harvard University and MIT. From October 1984 he was Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics.
"Mervyn King is a Fellow of the British Academy, an Honorary Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, a Visiting Fellow of Nuffield College Oxford and holds honorary degrees from Birmingham, London Guildhall and City (London) Universities. He is a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is on the Advisory Council of the London Symphony Orchestra."
On June 30, 2003, the Reuters news service ran "King ascends to Bank of England throne" by Ashley Seager. Cache File:
"Mervyn King takes over the top slot at the Bank of England from Sir Edward George on Tuesday in what is the crowning glory of a long career as an academic economist and central banker.
"The 55-year old had long been considered the favourite for the job and so there was little surprise when Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown made the announcement last November.
"King has long been a leading light on the BoE's Monetary Policy Committee since it was set up in 1997 and is famous for saying he wanted monetary policy to be 'boring' and for references to volatile economic data as being like 'disco dancing'.
"King has a sharp wit and good sense of humour and none of the stuffiness more usually associated with the 'Old Lady of Threadneedle Street', as the Bank is known.
"And he may need his sense of humour in the coming years as his five-year term is likely to be characterised by Britain's continuing flirtation with the euro which, if Britain joined, would see the BoE lose its role in setting interest rates.
"King will be trying to shed the anti-euro label attached to him as a result of a remark he once made that it would require 'two to three hundred years of data' to properly assess whether Britain's economy had converged with the euro zone.
"He regrets the remark enormously and stresses he was only speaking theoretically but has often reminded the government that it should not hide behind economics when making the decision which he sees as a political one.
NOT A HAWK
"He will also be keen to shed the label of interest rate 'hawk' he has acquired in recent years for consistently arguing that inflation is not dead and that the MPC risked dangerously unbalancing the economy if it cut interest rates too far.
"He will also want to emulate the consensual style that George brought to the MPC's proceedings and will not be want to seen as too dominating or overbearing on the committee, even though his grasp of economic issues is huge and his authority in the subject almost unparalled.
"'I will leave the Bank in safe hands,' said George in passing the baton to King after two five-year terms.
"King will not have to worry about his approval rating in the City of London where he has won enormous respect for his quarterly briefings on monetary policy at which reporters try, and invariably fail, to trip him up.
"His explanations of what the MPC is doing, and why, are always very clear, concise and explained in language people can understand.
"But he has never taken the MPC's enviable record on controlling inflation for granted, stressing that it was at least in part down to luck and modestly claiming a record of 'reasonable competence'.
"Mervyn Allister King was born in March 1948 and attended Wolverhampton Grammar School at which he attracted attention for his intellect.
"'He was a very studious boy with glasses. I always thought he would go on to be a professor or something,' a classmate told Reuters. 'We did no economics at school but he was terribly good at maths.'
VILLA SUPPORTER MAN AND BOY
"Unafraid even then of swimming against majority opinion, King did not support the local Wolves football club, preferring instead the nearby Aston Villa, a passion he still has.
"He graduated from Cambridge University and Harvard before going on to teach economics at Cambridge and Birmingham Universities. He became a professor at the London School of Economics in 1984 and joined the BoE as chief economist in 1991.
"King soon became Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy after the BoE was handed responsibility for interest rates by the Labour government in 1997 and was the natural choice to follow in George's footsteps.
"Unusually for a central banker, King lives in the trendy West London suburb of Notting Hill. Apart from Villa, he has passions for such things as handheld computers, classical music and James Bond."
Mervyn Allister King is listed among the attendees at Bilderberg 2003.
Resources and articles
- Group of Thirty Members, organizational web page, accessed December 5, 2013.