Bloomberg News

Goldman’s O’Neill Would Consider Leading BOE, Daily Mail Says

June 21, 2012

June 21 (Bloomberg) --Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, said if asked he’d consider becoming Bank of England governor when Mervyn King retires, the Daily Mail reported.

“If I were asked to take it seriously, that would be a sign to me that I had better think about it,” O’Neill said in an interview published on the paper’s website late yesterday. “I have been told in the past couple of years that my name could appear. I’ll treat that seriously when that happens.”

He said that to guide policy at the central bank “I would develop a group of financial conditions indictors of which the leverage ratio of commercial banks would be one, as would be the ratio of house prices to personal income,” he said. He also supports the return of banking regulation to the central bank.

“Maybe it’s part of my background and my latent respect,” he said. “But in my early days in this business I just assumed that the bank has so much knowledge of what the hell was going on every day and would be likely to make good decisions.”

Under the bank’s current leadership, “the person in charge wouldn’t have appeared to have seen this as his natural thing that gets him out of bed,” he said. It “should be part of his responsibility.”

On financial stability, he said “what you want stable is the utility banks,” the paper reported him as saying. “You want others to take plenty of risk, you just don’t want them to be big enough to blow up the whole damn system.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Ryan in London at jryan13@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Atkinson at a.atkinson@bloomberg.net


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