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Is the Governor of the Bank of England lost at sea?

We have several national British Treasures: Buckingham
Palace, the Queen, the Houses of Parliament, Bruce Forsyth, Chicken Tikka Masala;
but a new one is bidding for glory.  Sir Mervyn
King, the outgoing Governor of the Bank of England.

A massive tennis fan …

Sir-Mervyn-King, tennis

… and supporter of Aston Villa …

Mervyn Aston Villa

And now he’s making a rare and unusual appearance on another
British Treasure this weekend:
Island Discs

Now I know I’m in danger of making an Olympic Opening Ceremony
faux pas for my international colleagues by mentioning so many British
Treasures that mean little overseas, so a small piece of explanation before I
get to the heart of the matter.

Desert Island Discs is one of the oldest continually running radio shows, running weekly on the BBC
since 1942.   The format is simple: imagine
you are shipwrecked and lost on a desert island.   What would be the eight pieces of music you
would take with you, what book would you want to have with you and which single
luxury would you desire.

Now the fact that Sir King is appearing on the show has
ignited a wild worldwide web of speculation about what songs, book and luxury
he will choose.

The papers have waded in with various suggestions, such as Abba's Money, Money, Money …

Mervyn Abba

… suggested by the Evening Standard.

But the twitterati are far more active.  Under the hashtag #MervynSongGuesses, you can find a huge range of suggestions.  Here are my top eight:

Under Pressure,

The First (Rate) Cut
Is The Deepest
, Rod Stewart

It’s Not About The
Money, Money, Money
, Jessie J

Your Cash Ain't
Nothin' But Trash
, The Clovers

Take the Money and Run,
Steve Millar

Money’s Too Tight (To
Simply Red

Money for Nothing
or anything else by Dire Straits

And last but not least is a recommendation for Famous and Dandy by the Disposable
Heroes of Hiphoprisy.

The last one may sound like a strange and complimentary
choice.  Leaving office on a high, Sir
Mervyn is now not only famous but could also be a City Dandy, rather than a
City Grandee.

But no, @Bloke_On_A_Bike recommends this one for its
immortal line: “my pockets are so empty I
can feel my testicles”.




So what book would Mervyn take with him?

Well the twittersphere hasn’t ignited this debate, but a
brief search on Amazon comes up with a few suggestions:

I don’t think he would take any of these however, as they’re
all too dull.

Bearing in mind his passions, it’s far more likely that he
would take something like Economics For Dummies by Peter
 and Sean Masaki Flynn.

Finally, what luxury item could he take?  Hmmm … not sure, but Amazon is great at
giving suggestions, with this being number one:

 by the Early Learning Centre

Paly money

Oh and before signing off, big applause to Sir Mervyn’s
Monetary Policy Committee colleague Andrew Sentance who blogged
 his choices yesterday, based upon his exit speech from the MPC in 2011.


Postnote: so what did Mervyn choose?

Well, here is the eight track listing:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Symphony No. 40, K.550 in G minor

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major. Fourth Movement.

“Rotterdam 82”, a football anthem to mark the European Cup triumph of his beloved Aston Villa in the Dutch city

“London Concerto”, an unreleased work by composer Huw Watkins and played by the London Symphony Orchestra

“Highway 61 Revisited” by Bob Dylan

“Mambo No5” by Lou Bega

“I Remember the Wonderful Moment” performed by Boris Gmyrya and

“My Ship” from the musical Lady in the Dark, performed by Anne Sofie von Otter. 

His book choice was The Complete Illustrated Catalogue Of The National Gallery, and his luxury item: a telescope.

Oh, and upon leaving the bank, he's going to take six months off dancing.  Interesting.

You can hear the whole programme here, including further interesting snippets about his views on Mark Carney, his love life and more. 


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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