Isolation and detachment must be tackled says Governor of the Bank of England

Mark Carney at LJMU

One of the world’s leading figures in the financial and banking community was welcomed to Liverpool John Moores University yesterday, where he made a startling appraisal of how globalisation is failing great swathes of society.

The final Liverpool John Moores University Roscoe Lecture of 2016 was delivered by Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England at the BT Convention Centre in Liverpool to an audience of over 1,000 people.

Prior to the lecture, the Governor met with LJMU journalism students where he was interviewed by final year BA Journalism undergraduate, Nathan Archer. Mr Carney answered a range of questions from a wider student audience on issues ranging from Brexit to the state of the economy. Watch his interview with Nathan and the JMU journalism team on their independent news site, JMU Journalism

Mark Carney

Delivering the Roscoe lecture later that evening, Carney was introduced to the audience by Sir Jon Murphy, Chair of the Roscoe Lecture series and Professor of Advanced Policing Studies at LJMU. This was only Carney’s second speech since the EU referendum and his first since Trump swept to power in the US. 

Carney touched on many topics including the downside to globalisation and the rise of technology, the threat to open markets, monetary policy and the impact for Britain voting for Brexit.

Named by Time magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in the world, Carney said the world was living through a time of economic and technological disruption – similar to the mid 19th century when living standards were at their worst. He described the global financial crash as contributing to the “first lost decade since the 1860s” with many people concerned that new technologies and global trade could put their jobs at risk.

Carney went on to describe how globalisation and the digital revolution has caused "staggering wealth inequalities."

“The fundamental challenge is that, alongside its great benefits, every technological revolution mercilessly destroys jobs and livelihoods and therefore identities well before the new ones emerge,” said Carney before making an impassioned plea for governments to unite to tackle the "isolation and detachment" among those felt left behind.

Warning that people will turn their backs on free and open markets unless something is done to help those most impacted by the global financial crisis, he said: “Despite such immense progress many citizens in advanced economies are facing heightened uncertainty, lamenting a loss of control and losing trust in the system. To them, measures of aggregate progress bear little relation to their own experience. Rather than a new golden era, globalisation is associated with low wages, insecure employment, stateless corporations and striking inequalities."

Global trade and technology, he said, had favoured the “superstar and the lucky”, and added: “But what of the frustrated and frightened?”

He highlighted the need for wealth distribution, more inclusive growth and putting individuals back in control. 
“For free trade to benefit all requires some redistribution,” he said. “We need to move towards more inclusive growth where everyone has a stake in globalisation.”

Re-emphasising Prime Minister Theresa May's criticism of "stateless corporations" who pay little tax and have little responsibility to local communities, he added: "Redistribution and fairness also mean turning back the tide of stateless corporations. As the prime minister recently stressed, companies must be rooted and pay tax somewhere. Businesses operating across borders have responsibilities."

Nonetheless, he commented that remedying the overwhelming sense of disillusionment lay “outside the Bank’s remit.” 

Defending the Bank he said: “Monetary policy has been keeping the patient alive, creating the possibility of a lasting cure through fiscal and structural operations. It has averted depression and helped advanced economies live to fight another day, so that measures to restore vitality can be taken.

“In the end, monetary policy isn’t a spectre but a friendly ghost.”

Answering the audience’s questions afterwards, Carney responded to the UK's vote to leave the EU, suggesting people were driven to support Brexit for reasons including sovereignty, economic concerns and a sense of losing control. 

He also responded to how Liverpool would cope after the loss of EU funds following Brexit. Carney praised the progress the city had made in recent years in areas such as tourism and retail. He said Liverpool should promote its “pretty attractive set of assets”, including its entrepreneurs.

The lecture concluded with LJMU vice-chancellor Professor Nigel Weatherill presenting the Governor with a Liver Bird statue, specially created by sculptor and LJMU Honorary Fellow Emma Rodgers. 

Mark Carney

Carney now joins a roster of leading public figures who have delivered inspirational and informative lectures using research, humour and political insight to explore current, engaging topics.

For 20 years, LJMU has invited some of the country’s leading commentators to join staff, students and the people of Liverpool in discussing issues that matter to them. Other notable Roscoe Lecturers have been HRH Prince of Wales, the Dalai Lama, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Presidents of Ireland and Ghana.

Read, watch and listen to Mark Carney’s Roscoe Lecture:

You can watch the lecture or read a transcript at the Bank of England website 

The audio file of the lecture can be downloaded on

Media coverage:

The lecture was covered nationally on all main broadcast channels including the BBC, ITV, Sky and C4 bulletins at 6pm and 10pm.  It was the lead story on ITV news at 6pm. Kamal Ahmed, the BBC’s Economics Editor gave a full analysis of the lecture which you can watch back from 17.18 minutes on the BBC News at 10

Most coverage focused Carney’s message that people have become ‘isolated and detached’ as a result of globalisation, emphasising the need for governments to do more instead of relying on monetary policy to deliver change. The lecture was also covered in 34 national, business and international outlets including The Guardian, the BBC, the Liverpool Echo, Sky News, The Independent, the Financial Times, Mail Online, City A.M. and Reuters


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