Britain favors credentials over countrymen for BoE's top job

Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:29pm EST
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* Carney to be first foreigner atop major central bank

* Monetary policy has largely been a national affair

* Top hats and pink tailcoats await Canadian in London

By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian and Jonathan Spicer

NEW YORK, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Britain's choice of a Canadian to run the Bank of England could usher central bankers into the realm of globe-trotting elites that dominate the top jobs in business and sports.

When Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney takes over the BoE next summer, as announced Monday, it will be the first time a foreigner has held the top position at a major national central bank.

Britons are used to not worrying about nationality and embracing professional credentials instead, allowing foreigners to run their national soccer teams as well as top companies.

The British central bank was already trend-setter in welcoming outsiders in its ranks. Americans DeAnne Julius and, until this year, Adam Posen, served as members of the Bank of England's decision-making Monetary Policy Committee.

By contrast, few Americans could imagine the U.S. president nominating a Briton to even sit on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, much less run it.   Continued...