Now here’s an interesting development. The new head of the Bank of England, who is currently head of the Bank of Canada, has a wonderfully anti-capitalist wife who says things like: “Having more stuff does not make us happy.”
Diana Carney is like a classy, and more intelligent, version of Sally Bercow – meaning she is a slight embarrassment to her husband. She vents her strong eco-views on her website ecoproductsthatwork. But her importance in the current debate over how to deal with the economic crisis is that she is an insider who is highly critical of the workings of the financial system, and other such insiders will rally to her.
She has expressed sympathy for the anti-banking Occupy movement and suggested that global financial institutions are “rotten or inadequate”. However, she insists she is no “eco-purist”, admitting her “journey towards natural products has not always been smooth”.
And her critique of financial institutions probably does not extend to ones run by her husband,Mark Carney, a former Goldman Sachs exec. At the Bank of Canada, he has a track record for cracking down on the banking sector. he is also head of all global financial regulation, a role in which he has made relatively little impact so far in driving through potentially painful reforms to make the banks more robust.
the couple are probably both realists – Diana Carney has described the notion that humans should halt all consumption to save the environment as a “good point” but “very hard given the way our societies function”, and has also lamented the “relentless exhortations to buy and the fact that much of our sense of self is tied up in our possessions”.
Mrs Carney, who met her husband, Mark, at Oxford, is vice-president of Canada 2020, a Left-wing think tank, and believes that income inequality in countries such as Canada and Britain is “the defining issue of our time”.
“The politics of division are coming home to roost,” she wrote. “The grass is always greener on the other side and the Occupy movement has provided a voice to many unhappy people.”
Attacking the “visibility and excess” of top earners, she added: “I perceive a fear that the institutions that underpin our country and the global system are either threatened, rotten or inadequate to face down the challenges of the future.”
Mrs Carney met her husband after he put his career on hold in 1991 to study for a master’s degree then a doctorate in economics at Oxford. She had obtained a First-class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and earned a Masters in agricultural economics. The couple married in 1995, before Mr Carney returned to investment banking.
Mrs Carney also urges readers of her website to live frugally. Describing herself as a “farmer’s daughter” she wears recycled vegan shoes, describes environmentally-friendly ways to tackle head lice and recommends “gardening with cow poo”. “Reducing consumption, or returning it to levels that are sustainable, is critical overall,” she wrote online.
“Fortunately, it has been repeatedly shown that having more stuff does not make us happy, so we should be able to make that step”.
She is a Vice-President of Canada 2020 – a pressure group to move Canada towards more sustainable policies over the next seven years.
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