The Money Shot – Smooth operator

Mark Carney
Swoon (Photo: Bank of England)
“The governor did his Today programme interview without breaking sweat. In a media sense, he is a class act" Robert Peston
  • | by Kristian Dando

We’ve spoken before about the hunky new governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney. At some length, it has to be said.

Oh yes. The new head honcho at Threadneedle Street has already impressed us with his long, impressive CV, smouldering eyes, sensitive-yet-steely fiscal economic grip and husky British Columbian drawl.

And on Thursday, the man who took over from the rather more prosaic Mervyn ‘The King’ King stepped up to the oche to face off with the self-appointed final bosses of early morning current affairs shows on Radio 4’s Today programme. He proceeded to shoot down questions from Evan Davis with the  unflappable nerves of a crack huntsman with a Kodiak bear in his rifle sights, delivering a masterclass in suave financial justification - particularly on the subject of his ‘forward guidance’ policy, outlined earlier in the week.

This aims to keep the historically low base rate around for the next few years, or at least until unemployment reaches less than 7%... So, good news for borrowers! Bad news for savers! Repeat every month, seemingly forever ad nauseum!

The Carnmeister believes that this move will swell the economy by a positively bodice-ripping 0.5%. With numbers like these, surely no-one can claim that people aren’t interested in finance?

As if that wasn’t enough, Mark enhanced his ‘new man’ credentials by challenging the disappointingly male, white and middle-aged make-up of the Monetary Policy Committee. “It’s striking”, he said, not in reference to his reflection in the mirror, but to the all-male line-up of the MPC. “(We should) grow top female economists all the way through the ranks,” he suggested, calling to mind images of mysterious labs deep under the Bank of England where scientists produce ready-made female money experts in great human-sized jars of amniotic goo, able to instantly step into a trouser suit and slide on through to the board room.

He even found time to have a dig at “socially useless” bankers detached from the real world, so it’s hardly surprising that (at the time of writing) 66% of Guardian readers had agreed that he’d lived up to expectations. Even Robert 'R-Pest' Peston, the BBC’s business editor, was impressed. “The governor did his Today programme interview without breaking sweat. In a media sense, he is a class act,” purred ‘the voice of the recession’ over Twitter.

However, before we get carried away, it’s thought that Carney’s proposed low-interest path will end up creating a recovery fuelled by – yes, you guessed it – borrowing money and buying houses. Now, remind the Money Shot how that worked out last time?

SHORT CHANGE – MONEY NEWS IN BRIEF

With the news that a £250,000 burger has been grown in a lab, the Money Shot is braced for a new wave of ‘pop-up’ restaurants flogging them with organic sourdough buns and kimchi at twice the price.

Those compulsory workplace pensions have proved to be a rip-roaring success, with fewer than one in 10 workers opting out since the plan was ‘rolled out’ last year.

The Big Six energy companies have trousered £3.3bn worth of profits since the general election in 2010, while the average household energy bill has risen by £300 a year, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.

The buy-to-let mortgage market has grown to its biggest level since 2008, making quite a lot of people shift nervously in their seats at the prospect of another unsustainable housing boom.

The Pension’s Regulator has ordered a ‘probe’ (ooo-er) into nearly 90 pension schemes in search of breaches of new rules or failure to conform.

With the news that Outkast’s Big Boi is to appear on Celebrity Big Brother, the Money Shot pondered whether it might be worthwhile asking the Personal Finance Education Group to extend their campaign for compulsory money lessons for children to rappers, too.

ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK

What’s the deal with crowdfunding,” pondered Graham Thomas.

Every day he’s shufflin’: In the first of a new series, Gocompare.com’s resident credit card buff Matt Sanders rounded up a quintet of cards which have got him all in a tizz.

Smack my swtch up: we gave you the lowdown on how it'll soon be easier to swich current accounts

THE PET DOODLES CONTEST

Do you have a child? Or perhaps you are one with a predilection for painfully unfunny finance-related zings far beyond their years?

If so, then you need to check out the Pet Doodles Competition. Your kid might be able to win a year’s pass to ace attractions like Legoland Windsor and Alton Towers by drawing their pet.

Want to know more? Then step this way.

AND FINALLY

The £3,821 Lixil Satis is a colossus of the toilet world. The ‘Bugatti Veyron of latrines’ includes such awe-inspiring features as automatic flushing, a bidet spray, music (here’s some suggested listening) and a pleasant fragrance release. You can even control it via bluetooth with a ‘smart phone app’.

However, experts have warned that a glaring flaw in the phone-to-bog interface means that the Satis is open to abuse from so-called ‘brown hat’ hackers, and can be accessed from pretty much any phone with Bluetooth capability in the toilet’s vicinity.

“An attacker could simply download the My Satis application and use it to cause the toilet to repeatedly flush, raising the water usage and therefore utility cost to its owner," said a report. "Attackers could also cause the unit to unexpectedly open and close the lid, activate the bidet or air-dry functions, causing discomfort or distress to the user."

However, security expert Graham Cluley allayed fears: "It's easy to see how a practical joker might be able to trick his neighbours into thinking his toilet is possessed as it squirts water and blows warm air unexpectedly on their intended victim, but it's hard to imagine how serious, hardened cyber criminals would be interested in this security hole,” he said. “Although this vulnerability seems largely harmless, what's clear is that companies building household appliances need to have security in mind just as much as computer manufacturers."

Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING installment of THE MONEY SHOT.