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Letter to Sir Nicholas McPherson, application for post of Governor of the Bank of England
Vincent Scheurer, a supporter of Save Our Savers, has bravely decided to put himself forward for the job of Governor of the Bank of England. Below is his application which he has asked us to publish in case the hard copy gets lost in the post.
Letter to Sir Nicholas McPherson, Permanent Secretary to the Treasury
Dear Sir Nick
I am writing to apply for the post of Governor of the Bank of England. I believe that I have all of the qualifications necessary or desirable for this post.
I have no experience whatsoever of setting up a business or running a business. I also have no experience of operating a bank or other financial institution, and I have never even worked in the private sector.
I am fully proficient in IT. I can locate the “0” and “Enter” keys on a modern ASCII keyboard, so there is no barrier to me printing any quantity of money I may deem fit in the proper discharge of my duties.
I have excellent eyesight. In particular, I can “look through” any inconvenient fact or statistic which may conflict with my view of the current macroeconomic climate or with my preference as to how the future should unfold. Persistently high inflation, asset bubbles, payday lenders, self-certified mortgages and astronomical household debt will be as invisible to my eyes. Allied to this is my innate mental agility and flexibility which allows me to assume that every negative statistic is transient, while every positive statistic, such as a boost to employment caused by a large but temporary sporting event, is permanent.
I have an “A” level in Economics. I recognise that this falls somewhat short of the PhDs held by the current and stewards of the world economy who have guided their respective nations to such prosperity. Nevertheless I am familiar with the two cornerstones of modern economic theory, namely that (i) printing money does not cause inflation, and (ii) a crisis caused by too much debt can only be resolved by the addition of even more debt.
My plans for the Bank of England
I propose to continue the highly effective policies which the Bank has adopted in the years leading up to, and following, the financial crisis (which was in no way perpetuated by the actions or inactions of the Bank itself).
I pledge to manipulate the price of money, and in particular to ensure that the cost of money is artificially repressed, so that debt (which I will call “credit”) is as cheap as possible, in order to encourage the citizens and the government of the United Kingdom to take on even more debt. I will do everything within my power to protect those in debt from the consequences of their own decisions.
I will surround myself with “yes men” and “yes women”, ideally taken from the ranks of the large investment banks which most profited from the debt bubble, in order to provide the illusion of decision by rational deliberation.
I will at all times “do something”, rather than nothing.
I will continue to print money and to give it to the banks, in the hope that they can continue to provide tax receipts to the government via massive bonuses to their employees.
I will claim credit for any improvement or perceived improvement in the finances of the United Kingdom, while blaming greedy bankers, incompetent European governments and vague macroeconomic uncertainties for any bad news.
I will proclaim that artificially boosting the price of equities or property is to the net benefit of this country, even though the benefit to existing owners of equities and property will be matched pound-for-debased-pound by the detriment to future buyers of the very same equities and property.
I will treat savers as a source of continued financing for our indebted governments, whether they like it or not. After all, it was their reckless lending which caused all of our problems in the first place.
I will promote the wider adoption of complicated-sounding statistical tricks to mask increasing prices. In particular, I will make full use of the alchemy of “hedonic regression”, which transforms rising prices to falling prices at the stroke of a pen.
Lastly, I will ignore (or should I say “look through”) section 11 of the Bank of England Act 1998, and decide for myself the objectives of the Bank of England irrespective of the instructions of the elected government of the United Kingdom.
Naturally I will insist on an index-linked pension, even though indexation is wholly unnecessary if I actually do my job properly. I will however suggest a break from tradition and recommend an increase in gold reserves for the Bank and its employees’ pension fund, just in case my counterparts in the US lose the plot and decide to print more money as a solution to their problems.
I look forward to further exploring these issues with you during interview. In the meantime, please feel free to contact my referees Mr Gono (who may be reached at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Harare) and Ms Kirchner (who may be reached at the Presidential Palace, Buenos Aires, Argentina).