Belfast Telegraph

Swooping Ben has scattered bank hawks

By David Elliot

It turns out the new man on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has shifted the balance of power away from the hawks.

The bank, for reasons which are not entirely clear to this jaded hack, releases the minutes of its monthly interest rate meetings a week or two after the actual meeting (presumably to edit out the opening discussions centred on topics such as the best tailor from which to source a good pin-stripe to suit the weather).

The minutes show Ben Broadbent, who replaced rate-rise proponent Andrew Sentance, was in favour of keeping interest rates on hold at the last meeting, a move which means the hawks were out-played 7-2.

That should mean the chances of a rate rise in the near future are slim but the delayed nature of the minutes means things could have easily changed.

Unlikely though as economic data in the last couple of weeks has been tepid at best.