September 15th, 2012
09:08 AM GMT
London (CNN) – Can you successfully lead, influence and manage?
Do you inspire confidence and credibility?
Are you a person of undisputed integrity and standing?
If so, there's a job just for you: Governor of the Bank of England.
All you have to do now is apply and survive the daunting interview.
The current governor Mervyn King won’t be throwing his hat in the ring. He retires in June next year after two five-year terms in office.
Many doubt King would pass the test this time around given his recent hiccups and the almost super-human criteria.
Here’s my interpretation of some of the requirements for the role:
Formally advertised for the first time, the role calls for “an advanced understanding of financial markets and good economic knowledge.” In other words: A PhD would be ideal but you don’t have to be a world-class macroeconomist.
“Experience at working in, or with, a central bank is also required.” Read: Senior bankers or former bankers may be considered but if you’re from Barclays or HSBC - just forget it.
“Demonstrate strong leadership, management and policy skills.” This means: Prepare to take on a bigger role. You need to be a financial superhuman.
Because as of next year, the new governor of the Bank of England will be given sweeping powers over financial stability. The role will include overseeing the bank’s rate-setting monetary policy as well as banking reform.
“Be a strong communicator, have good interpersonal skills.” A top tip: Do not lack character or the media will pounce on you. If you speak in riddles, even better.
So where does that leave us in terms of candidates?
There have been plenty of suggestions as to who might fill the post.
But looking closely at the criteria, many of the favorites have at least some flaws in their resumes.
Lord Turner, head of the Financial Services Authority, is one of the front-runners. He has questioned the social values of the banks - no doubt the public will like this. I don't think the Conservative party will warm to his appointment though.
Lord Green is a well known face in the House of Commons but he is the former head of HSBC, which was accused of money laundering.
Lord O’Donnell is considered by many a talented economist but as a former cabinet secretary he may be too far removed from the workings of the City.
Paul Tucker may be the favorite internal candidate but his CV now looks a little smudged. Despite his thirty years with the Bank of England and his detailed knowledge of the economy, markets and regulation, he was recently grilled during parliament's inquiry into the Libor scandal.
Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs could be the dark horse of the race. Perhaps he has what it takes? However, he may be a tricky choice given the public’s hostility towards investment bankers.
The person to beat may be a cross between Batman and the Incredible Hulk.
Not sure he or she is available, though.
Applications need to be in by the 8th of October. So get cracking.
Post selection, the new governor will appear before the Treasury Select Committee for some light grilling. No doubt, the first of many major tests.