Some errors are unavoidable; but at least the Bank has successfully ensured financial stability in recent months. The only variable that has plummeted in value is sterling, and that, on balance, was overdue and will cause more good than harm.
There is another reason to retain Carney for an extra year: he is plugged into the City. As a former banker himself, he understands what makes them tick. If he puts his head to it, he ought to be able to convince many that London remains the place to be after Brexit. Carney will hopefully turn out to be the City’s best salesman: an ex-Goldman Sachs ex-Remainian in charge of executing the best possible Brexit. From the perspective of the big Japanese and US banks, you cannot get more reassuring than that.
Carney’s departure in 2019 makes sense for another reason. It may well be that Theresa May wants to change the monetary policy committee’s mission while maintaining the Bank’s independence. That is of course well within her rights: the current remit is a variant of the flawed 1998 set-up devised by Gordon Brown and Ed Balls.
The Bank is back in control of financial supervision, true, and is now meant to operate macroprudential regulation as well as monetary policy – but in theory it is still meant to be targeting the consumer price index, as decided at the start of the Labour government.