The Bank of England certainly knows how to conduct a stress test. It even managed to give the City’s hacks a stress test of their own at the crack of dawn yesterday. The press briefing began at the impolite hour of 5am and was punctuated by a power cut and subsequent change of venue.
Having already been in the Bank of England auditorium for four whole hours, listening to the highlights from the report, the eager hacks waiting around to hear from Carney himself were informed at 9am that there had been a power cut in the auditorium. It was running on emergency batteries and they would have to leave.
“A breaker tripped, and affected power in certain parts of the building,” a spokesperson told The Capitalist.
It was a classic exit through the gift shop scenario, as everyone shuffled out through the BoE museum shop and walked, confused, towards the prudential regulation authority’s auditorium 10 minutes up the road in Moorgate. But anyone hoping for some light comic relief from the governor when he finally addressed them were sorely disappointed. “We’re one Bank, but we’ve got two auditoriums,” he offered. Tumbleweed. At least the muffins were free flowing.