Hogging It

Hogging has a variety of definitions, including ones of a nature that wouldn’t be included within this column, but “Hogging It,” as in “taking or keeping too much for yourself and not sharing” is ideal.

Not sharing took on a whole new meaning of late within the hallowed halls of the “Bank of England,” the 324-year old central bank and financial regulator, better known as the “old lady,” whose main objectives are stated as stable prices and confidence in the currency.

The “bank,” particularly via its current Governor, Mark Carney, consistently advocates the importance of “transparency” and “integrity” and on both counts it appears to have failed miserably as the bank’s deputy governor, Charlotte Hogg, resigned this week after the discovery that she did not declare “conflicts of interest.”

In brief, she failed to declare that her brother, Quintin Hogg, is a director of group strategy at Barclays, which the Bank of England regulates. She not only failed to mention it when she was hired as the chief operating officer in 2013, nor during yearly compliance checks since, even though she helped to write the code of conduct rules, and did not declare it when she applied for the recent vacancy as the No 2 at the bank. Once could be construed as an oversight but this looks to be a major insult to the word “transparency.” It only came to light after her appointment in a questionnaire that she completed for the Treasury Committee.

Of equal concern is the question on whether the “Court of Directors,” who overseas the old lady, or Carney himself, must have known of Hogg’s due diligence answers and of who Quintin Hogg is, hardly difficult as the family is a pillar of the British establishment, with both parents holding a peerage.

It took all of five minutes to Google on the Honourable Charlotte Hogg to learn that aside of her being regarded as bright and capable with a career in finance seen as impressive, the rather sad note that her father, the third Viscount Hailsham who served in John Major’s government, saw his career as an MP end during the MP’s expenses scandal, when it was found that the cleaning of the family seat’s moat had been charged to expenses. So maybe it’s in the family DNA?

Either way, following the resignation, instead of negating this embarrassment from happening in the first place, by not turning a “blind eye,” the court chair said, “while Charlotte’s decision by any measure exceeds the standard that would be expected in the private sector or would be required under statute, it is understandable in the circumstances and she has taken it with the best interests of the Bank at heart,” whilst the governor added, “while I fully respect her decision taken in accordance with her view of what was the best for this institution, I deeply regret that Charlotte Hogg has chosen to resign from the Bank of England,” hardly a condemnation of Hogg’s blatant “one rule for her and one for everyone else.”

OR perhaps the obvious really wasn’t shared with these “pillars of financial integrity?

 

Ps: We last wrote about the Bank of England in the November 2016 knowledge-share, “Let the Car-nage Begin,” which reminded that central banks’ “re-act” to market interest rates not make any pro-active decisions.

Since then the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates twice, with the promise of a further two to come this year, despite the then “delusion” of only one rise expected over the next 2-3 years! In effect it has followed market rates over which they have no control.

Later today the Bank of England’s MPC decide on UK monetary policy and by the look of the market 3-month and 2-year rates, its base-rate will remain unchanged:

There is no excuse for delusion when the fact are there to check

 

 

 

 

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