FOLLOWING the announcement yesterday that Canadian candidate Mark Carney is the new chosen one at the Bank of England, bookies have wasted no time in setting odds on his reign as governor.
Ladbrokes has set odds of 8/1 that Carney will authorise a greater volume of quantitative easing than his predecessor. They also make interest rates 4/1 to rise above 2.5 per cent in Carney’s first year, while it’s much longer odds, at 25/1, that UK borrowing rates will soar above 7.5 per cent under his watch.
Only seven of the bookmaker’s punters correctly backed Carney for the job following his public withdrawal from the running for the position, which was good news for the firm. Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “Carney has foiled a major gamble and we’re raising a glass with him tonight.”
No odds yet on Carney passing a UK citizenship test, when he takes it, although with practice questions such as “which two places can you obtain advice if you have a problem at work?”, he may find revision an informative exercise.
■ Retail fever has struck again. First Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. And adding to the spending spree, an unusual invitation arrived on The Capitalist’s desk yesterday morning. A festive red envelope revealed an invitation to attend The Royal Exchange’s Christmas shopping event this evening: “Join us from 6-9pm for luxury shopping, Christmas fayre, canapes and cocktails in The Grand Cafe.” Nothing strange there, in fact it all sounds delightfully jolly. Save for the fact the luxury shopping centre’s invite was emblazoned with the words “HAPPY REXMAS.” Nothing quite says eat, drink and be merry less than a rexy Christmas.
■ A milestone today for electronic charity box Pennies, which has not only celebrated an anniversary, but is also welcoming over 20 new partners to the cause. Among them are Monarch Airlines, The Fragrance Shop and tailor Gieves & Hawkes. The charity works on the basis that every penny counts and therefore gives customers of affiliated firms the option to donate a few pence to charity when paying for goods or services by card. All of which will soon be handily explained by Casualty actor Robson Green (pictured left) in a video that is sure to tug on the heart – and purse – strings. President of Visa Europe, Peter Ayliffe, and chief executive of Kingfisher, Ian Cheshire, will both be speaking this morning at a conference held by the charity at Bafta. Ayliffe informed The Capitalist: “As banking, shopping and payments increasingly go mobile we should be working to ensure Pennies benefits from this evolving channel.”