As we mentioned last week, the Bank of England’s been avidly working on their social media profile, partly as a consequence, which they still won’t admit to, of their handling of the finances of the economy this century, which have been nothing less than disastrous.
This episode centres on the Monetary Policy Committee and its decision on interest rates. The process involves a small army of ‘9 of the world’s most eminent economists’ (their words, not mine), a communications team to deal with ‘media frenzy’, and ‘producing a narrative [where] we cannot get things wrong’ and ‘credibility is crucial.’
Journalists accredited to cover the decision first must get through the pink-coated security detail at the main entrance, lock their mobile devices in small boxes, which will be returned to them as they exit the premises. They are then led to a basement dungeon room, corralled, and have an hour to read through documents provided to flesh out their stories. Journalists call this a ‘lock-in’; a bit like an after-hours pub drinking session. Also in the basement is Victoria Cleland, Chief Cashier and AKA The Money Lady. Her domain contains £3.6 billion in new notes ready for release as and when needed – like Christmas.
One of the more in-depth interviews is with Ian McCafferty, one of 4 external members of the MPC who have offices in a separate corridor. Sitting at a green leather topped desk with wooden ‘In’ and ‘Out’ trays, he wields an extraordinary bunch of pencils (minute 17:53 of the video). Red and black, and at least 2 dozen wrapped in an elastic band; pity they are Staedtler rather than British-made, Royal Warrant holder, Winsor & Newton. Mark Carney also gestures with one of these in the beautiful Blue Parlour where the MPC meeting is held.
Hurry to watch this ASAP because the link will self-destruct automatically by the end of this month.
If you enjoyed that, here’s the link to episode 2: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0006p1n