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Mixed Messages From The Old Lady

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Mixed messages from the old lady

What is the point of the Bank of England?

You could say: To chuck mad money at problems caused by a government with which it is in open warfare.

But that’s just right now. Usually, it prefers a more low key approach.

To its credit, it has in the last ten years tried hard to explain what it does, to show that it is not a City institution on the side of bankers. That it sets monetary policy to help the masses, not the rich.

Andrew Bailey’s predecessor Mark Carney gave his first speech in Nottingham – a nod to the rubes that he wasn’t some fancy dan from London. (He is Canadian.)

His first (only?) proper interview was with the then City Editor of The Sun, a PR tactic which delighted said City Editor and infuriated the FT, which Carney loathed.

Lately, its communications have been, erm, less clear, something that is almost certainly not the fault of the very good press team.

But “mixed messages” has been the perfectly fair complaint about the governor.

Does the general public even get what the Bank is supposed to do?

For our Find Out Now poll this week we asked What, to the best of your knowledge, are the responsibilities of the Bank of England

Over half got the interest rate setting bit. But one in ten think the Bank decides how much money the government has to spend. (Sadly, no.)

You can see the full results below.

Press release of the day

“Men are more likely to work from home than women, says this from Clickslice.

But more men than women don’t have that choice, the data shows.

Bosses think staff WFH are less productive – the workers disagree.

Clickslice says: “This discrepancy is something that both business owners and workers should be aware of to ensure that there is no confusion or resentment about where people choose to work.”

Stories that will keep rolling

1) Which US banks are most showing signs of bad debts?

2) If UK banks make soaring profits won’t they be windfall taxed?

3) How have Jupiter and Ashmore handled the market chaos?

4) How have UK govt borrowing costs moved today as the Bank’s bond buying programme ends?

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