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Editor’s Note: Is a rate cut better than nothing?

Few senior figures have emerged well from the Brexit vote turmoil but Bank of England boss Mark Carney seems to be growing in stature by the day.

The Leave campaign has received heavy criticism for not having a plan in place to deal with Britain’s potential exit from the EU and its economic consequences. Many of the key Brexiters have either run for the hills or been sidelined as the repercussions of the referendum result hit home.

Those on the side of Remain have been able to shrug their shoulders and say ‘We told you so’ as sterling plummets and property funds suspend withdrawals. But that attitude will not help restore confidence in the British economy.

The UK has a vacuum in leadership as we wait to discover whether Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom will get the keys to Number 10.

In the meantime, it feels almost as if Carney is acting prime minister, such is the weight attributed to his every word in this febrile climate. Or perhaps ‘economic babysitter-in-chief’ is a better analogy given the number of toys being chucked out of prams by our elected officials.

It cannot be an easy task for Carney to maintain his composure, particularly after he spent recent months warning that a vote to leave the EU could trigger a recession, alongside job losses, higher costs and a drop in the value of the pound.

He has shown willingness to use all the tools at his disposal to stimulate the market and stave off a downturn, and a cut in interest rate this week is looking increasingly likely.

Financial journalists have written the same news story on the second Thursday of every month for more than seven years, so it will be a break from the normal routine if predictions of a cut prove accurate.

However, Clayton Euro Risk president Tony Ward says a base rate cut would be “a complete waste of time”, further weakening sterling and serving only to import inflationary pressure as it costs the UK more to buy foreign goods and services.

Yet with the country in limbo and a huge burden of responsibility resting on Carney and his MPC colleagues, there is a sense that they have to try something…



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