It would seem that Gordon Brown's 11 year dalliance with granting the Bank of England "independence" is at an end.
Brown's poor man's eminence grise, Alistair Darling, wants to impose on the Bank an expert panel to advise it on emerging financial dangers and monitor its efforts to prevent crises.
All very nice, but this is a clear reversal of the independence granted to the Bank 11 years ago by Brown.
The rationale for this new "oversight" of the bank is, on the face of it, perfectly reasonable. Brown and Darling want to oversee the Bank of England's policing of the markets, in order to help to prevent a repeat of the Northern Rock fiasco.
However, as I have stated many times before, the failure to act in a timeous and effective manner on the Northern Rock fiasco was as a result of the failure of the tripartite monitoring system of the financial markets.
Who set that up?
The current tripartite arrangement does not work, one organ (Treasury, Bank of England or FSA) needs to be in overall charge of monitoring the markets.
Until Brown makes a decision as to which organ that will be, the UK will be exposed to further Northern Wrecks.
Brown of course will never make that decision!