To play the King (or not…)

We’re short of an announcement. As outlined in the Daily Telegraph’s blog, we were supposed to know by now whether Mervyn King is staying on at the Bank of England before …

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20th December 2007 at 9:47 am

We’re short of an announcement. As outlined in the Daily Telegraph’s blog, we were supposed to know by now whether Mervyn King is staying on at the Bank of England before June.

Christopher Hope in the Telegraph clearly thinks Gordon Brown will keep him because there’s so much at stake, for both business and personal money as well as that in the public sector.

It will be no small relief to Mr. Hope that I agree entirely. The real issue, though, isn’t whether King stays on. It’s not even whether King misjudged the Northern Rock affair. It’s that we were supposed to know by now and we don’t.

This is becoming a pattern. Brown vacillates over an election, we gear up for it, he backs off, his personal ratings fall alongside that of his party. Now here we are again – King’s tenure should be confirmed or discontinued and there’s no decision forthcoming.

I don’t think I’m being unduly party political when I say this is going to become a problem over the next couple of years if Gordon Brown keeps it up. If there’s going to be a mini-recession, and let’s hope not, it will need someone decisive to take action to limit the damage. If there isn’t, then anyone seeking to remain in power needs to make it clear that this was their doing rather than a fluke of events.

2008 is going to be decisive for many reasons; the availability of credit, inflation, the consequent movement of interest rates, it will all have a marked effect on every businessperson in the UK. We need reassurance that the guy at the top is able to do more than say ‘oh yeah, I’ll deal with that in a minute…’

Guy Clapperton

Guy Clapperton is a freelance journalist who specialises in small business issues and has written for the likes of The Guardian, the FT and the Daily Mirror. Guy has written about finance and franchising for SmallBizPod. http://www.guyclapperton.co.uk

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