Andrew G Haldane: Thirty years of hurt, never stopped me dreaming

Speech by Mr Andrew G Haldane, Executive Director and Chief Economist of the Bank of England, at the Institute for Government, 30 June 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
02 July 2021

At the end of September I leave the Bank of England, 32 years almost to the day since I joined. Most would say that is a decent stint, but in Bank terms it is just really getting started. My personal assistant, the brilliant Sandra Mills, has just completed 44 years. The Bank's company secretary, John Footman, is just about to clock 52 years. I never was a completer-finisher.

It has not, of course, been 30 years of hurt. I have loved almost all of my time at the Bank. I promised myself one thing when I joined – that I would only stay as long as it was interesting. It has been interesting for 32 years. Events made it so. And it remains no less interesting now. I tell the Bank's new entrants I can promise them only one thing: they will be telling their families and friends about this moment in history and, uniquely, they can write its next chapter. As a public servant, this is as good as it gets.

Any lengthy career in public policy will inevitably be punctuated by crisis. In my case, crises have provided not just the punctuation marks, but most of the words, sentences and paragraphs too. In public policy, crises are the ultimate learning experience. They are also the moments when the Overton window of opportunity is widest and the opportunity for change greatest. Crises are moments of challenge and opportunity in equal measure. I am very fortunate to have experienced plenty of both.