Meet the Chief Economist at the Bank of England

Over the summer we caught up with alumnus Andy Haldane, an Economics graduate (BA Accounting & Financial Management and Economics 1988), to find out what it’s like to hold one of the most senior positions at the Bank of England. Andy was back in Sheffield to receive an honorary degree from the University and spoke with us in the Firth Court quad about his time at Sheffield and just what his job as Chief Economist involves.

 Since joining the Bank of England in 1989 after a Masters year at the University of Warwick, Andy’s career has covered financial stability, systemic risk assessment, market infrastructure and international finance.

As Britain’s most senior economist Andy is well aware on how insular the industry is, and in a change from the norm, sees the importance of opening up and improving understanding of the economy, as well as the need for creativity in the subject, and the recognition of ambiguity and alternatives.

He has actively sought to introduce concepts from the rest of the social sciences, from anthropology, from evolutionary biology and from physics. It is also Andy’s mission, with the agreement of Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank, to go out into the country at large. Education and engagement are key elements of Andy’s portfolio.

Andy seeks more of a dialogue between the Bank of England and those influenced by it – in other words, all of us. He has held discussions involving the Bank with ordinary members of the public around the country.

Through this Andy has also seen a lack of numeracy in Britain as one of the causes of the country’s poor record on productivity. In response he set out to do something about it, acting as a trustee for the National Numeracy campaign, and with a colleague he created Pro Bono Economics, an organisation geared to supplying volunteer economists to assist charities and start-up businesses.

On hearing about being awarded an honorary degree Andy was thrilled and very moved, and shared some of his thoughts on the day.

Please click here to read more about this summer’s other honorary graduates.

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