Just like Canada’s most-talented actors and musicians head south to gain more fame and money, our most-talented economist is heading overseas for much the same reason.
He may not be as famous as Justin Bieber — thankfully — but Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney is prominent enough to grab the attention of the world’s top economic institutions, including the 318-year-old Bank of England.
Yes, Carney is headed to Britain after guiding Canada’s economy to solid footing after the 2008 financial crisis rocked the world’s financial system. Indeed, Canada is seen as an economic bright spot — as dim as it may be — four years after the start of the recession.
It’s no secret that Carney has had higher ambitions than the Bank of Canada. In fact, rumours have placed him at the International Monetary Fund and, even years ago, the Bank of England — rumours that he steadfastly denied until he revealed news of his new job on Monday.
Known for his push for regulatory reform on how banks do business, it was Carney’s opinions on monetary policy that Canadians seemed to always find comfort in. The trust he was given on matters of interest rates, regulation and financial reform showed just how much his economic acumen mattered to the public.
And his way with numbers and the public didn’t go unnoticed. The Bank of England sought his insight into monetary policy so much so that it was willing to hire its first foreigner to lead the bank.
It was obvious Carney craved bigger challenges, whether it was politics or the IMF, and there will be no shortage to wade through when he moves to England. The country is barely out of recession, making Canada look like a trickling stream next to a raging river.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty called Carney’s departure “bittersweet,” saying England’s gain “is our loss.”
But for those who think Canada has lost another rising star to another country, there are hints
Carney may be back after his five-year stint is up. Carney often spoke not as an economist, but as a politician, which gave substance to this year’s rumours he would run for the Liberal leadership.
With a reputation of always looking ahead to the next challenge, the possibility of seeing him back in Canada kissing babies on the campaign trail — whether for the Liberals or the Conservatives — is a good one.
We Say editorials represent the viewpoint of The Daily News and are written by editor Robert Koopmans, city editor Tracy Gilchrist, news editor Mike Cornell or associate news editors Dan Spark and Mark Rogers.