In the elegant Court Room of the Bank of England’s Threadneedle Street headquarters, there is one of the most famous weather vanes in the world. Installed more than two centuries ago, its function was to tell the Bank which direction the wind was blowing, and thus when cargo ships were likely to arrive at the Port of London. This was information vital to controlling the supply of credit, it being required by merchants to pay for the cargo.
I am not aware of such a weather vane at the Treasury, although it sometimes employs a hawk to keep the pigeons at bay. Its electronic equivalent, however, monitors closely what is happening in the markets — the financial wind blowing from the east: the City and