Professor the Lord Mervyn King, KG, GBE, FBA, former Governor of the Bank of England (2003-2013), School Professor of Economics and Political Science at the London School of Economics (LSE), Alan Greenspan Professor of Economics, NYU Stern School of Business, and Professor of NYU’s Law School, visited the Bank of Greece upon invitation from Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece, Professor John (Iannis) Mourmouras.
With studies at both ‘Cambridges’: King’s College, Cambridge University (England) and Harvard University in Massachusetts, he was appointed to a Chair at the young age of 29 and a few years later, became full Professor of Economics at LSE, where he founded the world-renowned Financial Markets Group. He has a 20-plus-year experience at the Bank of England, which he joined as its Chief Economist, later as its Deputy Governor and ultimately as its Governor for two terms – ten years, from 2003 to 2013, where he will be remembered for saving the global financial system in 2008, together with Fed Chair Ben Bernanke, by moving to unconventional monetary policy measures. He is Lord, Sir and Knight and holds honorary degrees from a dozen universities around the world.
On Monday, 3 June 2019, Professor the Lord Mervyn King gave a speech at the Bank entitled “Monetary policy in turbulent times”. In his speech, Lord King talked about central banks in the modern era and what they should and should not do at a time of persistently low interest rates, quantitative easing and expanded central bank balance sheets. Lord King mentioned how he addressed the worst crisis to have struck the world economy following the Great Depression of 1929 as Governor of the Bank of England and also pointed out that Greece and Iceland, two countries that were severely hit by the subsequent euro area debt crisis had the courage to make radical changes to their economies. Lord King’s speech was preceded by the welcoming remarks of the Bank of Greece’s Governor, Yannis Stournaras, and followed by Q&As. Among the issues discussed were macroeconomic imbalances in the euro area and the need for a fiscal union, as well as Brexit, which Lord King referred to as the UK’s greatest political crisis of the past 100 years.
The speech was followed by a lunch in his honour with the participation of economic officials and bank managers. Lord King’s visit to the Bank of Greece was concluded with an hour’s meeting, upon his request, with young economists from the Bank of Greece, to whom he gave his wise guidance drawing from his 20-plus-year experience at the Bank of England and his long academic career.