Posts Tagged ‘bank of england’

Radical change at the Bank of England

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, yesterday appointed Mark Carey as the new governor of the Bank of England. He was previously the governor the Canadian central bank, but also worked in the private sector for Goldman Sachs.  So he is a man with a serious background in the banking but also an outsider.  He studied economics at Oxford and spent a decade in London, so he has some insight into our ways.  He comes with a relatively unbesmirched record as Canada was least affected by the world banking crisis.  So he represents a new broom, and a fresh set of eyes.  He is someone with no vested interest in the past and only interested in setting Britain’s financial house in order.

Sometimes it is necessary to just cleanse the Augean stable, and whilst one can never truly start over, having no past mistakes to defend can make it much easier to do the right thing.  In my experience, the wisdom often exists in a company to know what needs doing, what is more often lacking is the political will to take that path.

So if you are not in a position to bring a world class outsider to run your business perhaps you should start with a blank sheet of paper, forget all the reasons why you can’t do things and ask some fundamental questions:-

  1. What is it we are trying to achieve?
  2. What are key drivers?
  3. How do we measure success?
  4. What is required to make this equation balance?
  5.      … Then ask “Are we willing to do what it takes?”

Scientists of the Subprime

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Could an understanding of biology have prevented the credit crunch? The complex world of banking evolved – and profited – thanks to the work of analytically gifted maths and science graduates. But when the crash came, something new was needed. Now banking regulators are turning to a different kind of science, asking if an understanding of ecosystems or the spread of infectious disease could help reform world finance. Ehsan Masood examines the role of science in the City.”  This is the blurb for a Radio 4 programme tomorrow night at 9pm.  I think it is fascinating how such an apparently conservative organisation as the Bank of England is prepared to look outside the box to see what can be learnt from biologists & science to better understand how complex systems work.  Clearly the world’s finance system is both hugely interconnected and important.  Understanding how the systems that we all depend on can be threatened is vital.

In my work I have visited many different companies, sectors and companies and am always gobsmacked at how many think their problems are unique or feel they have nothing to learn from other non-related sectors, if you want to get out of your box, you have to both look and think out of it!  I shall listen with interest.