On Tuesday night just before Long Leave, the Keynes Society was very privileged to welcome Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada, and the current governor of the Bank of England. He came to deliver a talk on the role of the Bank of England, as well as answer the many questions those attending had.
He started with the Bank’s formation in 1694, with a mission statement built around the idea of promoting a public good (which was then raising money to fund the war against France). Carney emphasised that the base purpose of the Bank remains the same today, and that they have four main objectives. Firstly, they make currency and determine which icons should be represented on it. They also process money, as all English money ultimately returns and passes through the Bank of England. They ensure that the value of money remains stable and predictable, and finally they keep money secure. However, as Mark Carney emphasised, the role of the Bank of England is changing dramatically. They will have to deal with an increase in e-commerce and an intangible, dematerialised economy. By 2025 it is thought that a third of all workers will be part time. Most importantly perhaps, they will have to deal with the likely shift to a low carbon economy. He emphasised that the financial sector, a system built on trust, will have to adapt, change and work together to help deal with global issues. After his talk, Carney answered a range of questions concerning issues such as fiscal value, negative interest rates and the impacts of the US-China trade war.