What are the odds of a former Goldmanite getting the BofE governor job? | FT Alphaville

What are the odds of a former Goldmanite getting the BofE governor job?

The race for Mervyn King’s job is hotting up — months before it’s even officially advertised — as rumours circulate that a second Goldmanite could be in the running.

The focus on Monday was on Jim O’Neill, chairman of Goldman Sachs’ asset management division, after a piece in The Sunday Times lauded his “unique qualifications” for the job. The paper added that the UK Treasury had approached O’Neill about the job several months ago, but did not cite sources. O’Neill has neither denied or commented on the story.

None of which has stopped the bookies from offering odds on the chances of O’Neill taking over as BoE boss.

Paddy Power said it has already been forced to slash its odds from 20-to-one to five-to-one on the sheer level of support the Goldman Sachs man is getting.

Those figures put O’Neill just in front of Mark Carney, the Goldman veteran currently heading up Canada’s central bank, who everyone was speculating about two weeks ago.

Though, judging by some of the names they’re offering odds on (Fred Goodwin and Harry Redknapp make appearances, as does a certain Canadian rocker randomly enough) we’re not too sure you can take these odds too seriously:

Next Bank Of England Governor

3/1 Paul Tucker

7/2 John Varley

4/1 Adair Turner

4/1 Gus O’Donnell

5/1 Stephen Green

5/1 Jim O’Neill

10/1 Mark Carney

16/1 John Vickers

20/1 Kate Barker

20/1 Warwick Jones

20/1 John Footman

20/1 Peter Sands

22/1 Douglas Flint

25/1 Hector Sants

200/1 Gordon Brown

300/1 Fred Goodwin

500/1 Warwick Davis

500/1 Harry Redknapp

500/1 George Galloway

1000/1 Bryan Adams

But back to O’Neill. As Goldman’s former chief economist who’s now responsible for some $715bn of assets under management, one can’t deny that he is qualified for the job. It’s also safe to say he knows a thing or two about the financial markets. And his appointment would, as The Sunday Times piece argues, “answer Labour’s criticism that Britain is run by toffs”. O’Neill, after all, is a Mancunian who was educated at Sheffield University.

That said it would also confirm the suspicions of those who worry about former Goldman employees being over represented in high-level government posts, aka “The Goldman Path To Complete World Domination”.

Related links:
Jim O’Neill’s contributions to the FT A-List - FT
BoE governor race is on
– FT Money Supply