LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s top central bankers held an unusual vote during their policy deliberations this week – to decide which country is most likely to win the World Cup taking place in Russia.
Switzerland – which achieved an unexpected draw against five-time world champion Brazil on Sunday – was one team picked, but Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said he would wait until his home country Canada co-hosted the World Cup in 2026 before revealing the full results.
“Unfortunately for you, but fortunately for some Monetary Policy Committee members, the result is sealed along with the rest of the transcript. Transparency only goes so far,” he joked at a black-tie dinner in London’s financial district late on Thursday.
Full details of the MPC’s regular policy discussions – which more typically revolve around British interest rates – are only published eight years after they have taken place.
“You will have to wait until 2026 to find out which MPC member’s knowledge of football matches their understanding of the UK economy,” Carney said.
If home bias plays a role, Belgium and Argentina are likely to come high in the BoE policy committee’s picks, as two members – Gertjan Vlieghe and Silvana Tenreyro – hail from those countries.
But Carney, who holds Canadian and Irish citizenship and supports top-flight English soccer team Everton, will have to wait at least another four years before one of his national sides qualifies.
Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by Tom Brown