LONDON (Reuters) - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney told British schoolchildren on Friday he was nicknamed ‘Carnage’ in his youth and wished he had been a professional ice hockey goalie.
Showing a lighter side after months of political and economic turmoil following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Carney also said he preferred dogs to cats, enjoyed TV cookery contest ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and was partial to Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate.
More used to grillings from MPs and reporters, the Canadian took part in an unusual news conference on Friday organized by the BBC for aspiring journalists aged 11-16.
One of the first questions Carney was asked was whether he had any nicknames in his youth.
“I was called ‘Carnival’ or ‘Carnage’. I liked ‘Carnage’ a little better than ‘Carnival’. I think it seemed a little more manly, I guess, at the time,” he said.
Carney, who has not escaped plays on his name in his career as a central bank governor in Canada and Britain, said his dream job would have been as a goalie in North America’s National Hockey League. As a student, he played in goal for university ice hockey teams at Harvard and Oxford.
Used to getting his own way on the BoE’s Monetary Policy Committee, Carney revealed he had been outvoted at home by his wife and four daughters, with the family acquiring a cat despite his preference for a dog.
On a more serious note, he said June 24 had been his toughest day at work, as the result of Britain’s EU referendum filtered through in the early hours and he prepared to send a message to markets that things were under control after two hours’ sleep.
“The reason it was a tough day was not because of the result, but because we had put in place a bunch of plans .... to ensure everyone did the right thing at the right time, so nobody noticed any ripples,” he said.
Last month the Bank cut interest rates for the first time since 2009 and on Thursday the BoE said most policymakers expected to cut rates again later this year.
Carney is a more comfortable television performer than previous BoE governors. He posed for cameras on Monday when he launched Britain’s first waterproof plastic banknote, dipping it into a vat of chicken casserole at a food market.
Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Janet Lawrence