Thursday 14 November 2019

The Punt: BoE is right? Don't bank on it

The Bank of England
The Bank of England

Oh dear. This column has poked fun at the Central Bank on quite a few occasions. Now we're going to give the Bank of England, pictured below, a bit of a ribbing.

It appears that the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street made a pretty big mistake when it announced last week, to much fanfare, that foreign investors had snapped up UK debt at a record pace in March.

In an embarrassing statement issued on Wednesday, the bank was forced to admit that this was actually not the case, and that its data was wrong for both March and February.

The Bank of England halved the total purchases of UK gilts from overseas in March from the 33-year record of £28.2bn originally reported, to £14.8bn.

It blamed "clerical error" while inputting the data, and left the top brass in the bank a little red faced.

Mistakes happen, I suppose.

Stobart adds to its flight deck

Three new interesting appointments at Stobart Air this week, the Punt sees.

The airline operates the Aer Lingus Regional service on behalf of Aer Lingus under a franchise agreement.

Stobart Air has been successful in targeting regional UK cities and drawing connecting passengers to Dublin to feed the Aer Lingus long-haul network.

Stobart Air said that it its new chief commercial officer, Martin Saxton, has been hired from FlyBe, the UK regional airline that's trying to rebuild itself under the leadership of Saad Hammad.

Saxton was previously director of operational planning at FlyBe, having been with the carrier since 1989.

Stobart has also hired Graeme Buchanan as chief financial officer.

He worked with the Quinn Group, where he was group financial controller.

He had been with the Quinn plastics unit since 2006, and also worked at its insurance arm, where he was financial controller between 2008 and 2010.

Andy Jolly has joined Stobart as its chief operations officer.

He comes on board from Hebridean Air Services.

Prior to that he was chief commercial officer for Scotland's Loganair.

It's Carroll's Irish meats

The business of America is famously business, and deep down the business of Ireland has always been grub, and in particular beef.

So the Punt should probably be less surprised than we are at the appointment of Philip Carroll as the chair of Meat Industry Ireland, the IBEC sub group that represents the business interests of the Irish meat sector.

He'll replace outgoing chairman Ciaran Fitzgerald, a food economist.

Strikingly, the incoming chairman isn't a butcher, farmer or meat processor. He is a former civil servant.

He was assistant secretary general in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, where he has headed up sections dealing with animal health and welfare, meat and milk policy.

Carroll has also held senior positions in the Department of Industry and Commerce and the Department of Energy.

Whether or not he has muck on his wellies, the new man clearly knows his ways around the corridors of power, and the value of a choice cut.

"Every year, the meat sector generates over €3bn in export earnings, supports rural communities and sustains the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people," he said.

Irish Independent

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