Monday, Feb. 01, 2010

Canada's Central Banker Is Smart and Sexy

Central bankers aren't often known for their charm, good looks or ease with words, but Mark Carney has all three. As the head of the Bank of Canada, Carney had the pleasure of presiding over a financial system that didn't need a single bailout. Canada's banks have long been ranked among the soundest in the world, but Carney, an ex-Goldman Sachs managing director who at 44 is the youngest central banker in the G8, still has his work cut out for him during the recovery as Canada's productivity lags and its strong dollar hurts exports. The way he goes about his job is pretty impressive: lots of interviews and frank, easy-to-comprehend explanations. Canada's economy would benefit from more consumer spending, and Carney quickly acknowledges that. Yet he also often cautions Canadians not to take on excessive personal debt since levels in the country have been rising — the sort of warning you want to hear but rarely get from a person whose job it is to juice the economy.