The message is clear - Carney won't allow another bubble to burst
Comment of the Day

November 28 2013

Commentary by David Fuller

The message is clear - Carney won't allow another bubble to burst

Here is a section of this topical article from Telegraph View:

What it told us about the style of the Bank's Governor, Mark Carney, was far more interesting.

Only a matter of weeks ago, Carney was wearing an air of insouciance, seemingly unperturbed by suggestions of a housing bubble.

Yesterday, he performed an adriot U-turn unapologetically. The Bank is not only "vigilant" but also prepared to take action. "Taking a series of measures now should reduce the need to take larger measures later but we are prepared to take larger measures later if that becomes necessary," he said.

That sent out the message that Carney is prepared to do two things: respond according to changing circumstances and act decisively.

It was also a warning to those who, in Carney's words, "stretch and stretch and stretch" themselves and the banks which may be tempted to lend to them.

"Recessions are three times deeper when they involve a housing market crash," he noted and the Bank is not going to let history repeat itself. Underwriting standards will be monitored; mortgage debt will be checked.

Carney said the new measures would "refocus" the FLS on lending to small businesses, many of which have been waiting for an olive branch from lenders for years. The move is a welcome step and should allow business investment to catch up with consumer spending.

Whether this new regime does indeed bring an end to "boom to bust" remains to be seen.

Bank of England data today are likely to show mortgage approvals surpassed the 70,000 mark for the first time since January 2008.

However, the Bank won't sit back and watch another bubble burst. In other words, prevention is better than cure.

David Fuller's view

BoE Governor Mark Carney is doing just what I was talking about in my comment following the lead article above. OK, housing bubbles are more dangerous than stock market bubbles but US house prices have also bounced back sharply. I hope Janet Yellen knows of Carney's decision.


Back to top