BOE Deputy Governor Forced To Apologize For Calling UK Economy "Menopausal"

BOE Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent has apologized for the latest central bank fiasco, this time during an interview with the Telegraph, when he describing the U.K. economy as "menopausal."

Ben Broadbent

The 53-year-old central banker has been branded a sexist by some after the interview infuriated political commentators and journalists. The deputy governor said "I’m sorry for my poor choice of language in an interview with the Telegraph yesterday and regret the offence caused, I was explaining the meaning of the word "climacteric", a term used by economic historians to describe a period of low productivity growth during the 19th century. Economic productivity is something which affects every one of us, of all ages and genders."

In the interview, Broadbent ran into trouble when trying to describe how the U.K. may be between productive phases, something that last happened in the late Victorian era. He said that the phrase “climacteric” means “menopausal but it applies to both genders.”

Tangentially, he also said, “I once got an economist to explain the origins of the word ‘climacteric.’ As soon as he started talking to all these middle-aged men about how it means you’re past your peak and you’re no longer so potent, they all said: ‘We understand.’”

That, however, wasn’t enough to save him from the headline splash that the U.K. economy is “menopausal” because it’s past its productive potential.

Broadbent's remarks sparked complaints about sexism and ageism. On Twitter, Conservative lawmaker Claire Perry said that she “can’t be the only 50+ woman objecting to Ben Broadbent’s pejorative description of the U.K. economy as ‘menopausal.’ I’ve never been more productive! How about ‘andropausal’ instead? Then you get declining potency and bonus grumpiness thrown in!”

As Bloomberg adds, the timing was "unfortunate" for the BOE, coming two days after Governor Mark Carney hosted a conference on diversity in central banking. They follow a slew of criticism over the bank’s messaging on monetary policy, which dominated Carney’s interest-rate press conference last week.

The snafu may cloud Broadbent’s future at the centuries-old central bank. In a recent Bloomberg survey of economists, he was seen as the second-favorite, behind FCA chief Andrew Bailey, to succeed Carney at the top of bank next year.

Broadbent, the longest-serving MPC member, was educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and worked previously at the U.K. Treasury. Most importantly, he has that most important pre-requisite needed for every successful central banker: to have worked at Goldman Sachs at some point in his career. His current term expires in June 2019.

It’s not the first time a BOE official has landed himself in hot water during a newspaper interview. In 2016, Chief Economist Andy Haldane sparked controversy when he suggested in an interview with the Sunday Times that buying a home was a better investment than a pension.

That said, apart from the poor choice of words, Broadbent is hardly wrong, as growth in the UK has been sluggish and Broadbent gave the interview after BoE official figures noted that productivity fell 0.5% in the first three months of 2018, at a time when employment figures in the UK hit a fresh high but growth slowed to just 0.1%.

Meanwhile, the BoE seems to be becoming a laughing stock at the moment with Governor Carney being brandished as "the unreliable boyfriend" and now his right hand man Broadbent has just all he could to further sink the credibility of the UK central bank.

Finally, as Bloomberg's Richard Breslow writes in an amusing tangent this morning:

"It’s a shame that the unfortunate comments by BOE Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent in trying to explain “climacteric” are getting all of the headlines. His other statement from yesterday’s Telegraph interview was the important one. He said that the Bank won’t continuously “spoon feed” traders on the state of play of interest rates and their timing. And they should stop whinging about that. He isn’t suggesting this as a pedagogic device. Rather to explain that everyone is looking at the same numbers and the situation is fluid. It’s true for central bankers and investors the world over. This is something everyone needs to keep in mind when forecasting the next market moves and while resisting the temptation to extrapolate things ad infinitum."


land_of_the_few Yukon Cornholius Wed, 05/16/2018 - 15:03 Permalink

Also, "never been more productive". Ahahahah. Perhaps at wolfing down salmon sandwiches. And sloshing G&T. Some of the hardest drinkers I ever met were women and "worked" in places like she does.

Anyone who has seen an Anglo office knows the youngsters work like indentured slaves for peanuts. Many of them come up with their best and brightest work say 2 or 3 years after they start, sometimes sooner, if they are  allowed near any intractable problems and gain knowledge fast enough to have a go at them. Her type, not so much. Especially not a politician.

Some might be working hard ...but clearly she has too much time on her hands.

In reply to by Yukon Cornholius

I Am Jack's Ma… chiburashka Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:33 Permalink

I love this mindset as seen in Claire Perry’s tweet:


I’m so offended by this ‘sexist’ term, I’m so outraged, I’m going to use a sexist term few have heard of, that’s more of a reach, and makes less sense...

So ‘sexist’ descriptions are just intolerable... unless it’s about men.

Just like how racism is bad, unless it’s against whites...

and how it’s okay to bash religion.. so lonn as its Christianity.


Sorry I’m triggered by some leftist/black ‘cultural appropriation’ whining on twatter, arising out of some song which is more whining and bitching about how rayciss America is...  as black males commit half the fucking murders in the country and they still fail to explain why Asians arrive in the country not speaking the language and are outperforming whites 10 minutes later...  what about all that racism?


Maybe put down the joint and the basketball and feel ashamed by shit grades, Jerome. Maybe don’t act like a dickhead to a cop doing his job. Maybe order a tea if you want to do a drug deal st a Starbucks.

And I genuinely have no problem with blacks, worked and serves with a bunch that are fuckin great guys.   It’s these shithead woe is me college kids lapping up (((cultural marxist))) anti-White propaganda.

In reply to by chiburashka

css1971 eforce Wed, 05/16/2018 - 16:02 Permalink

The UK establishment has imported 6 million extra mostly semi-skilled people over the last 20 years. ~10% of the population.

Primarily to suppress wages. The purpose of which is to allow them to hire more people for the same or lower cost.

Now... What would that do to productivity?


In reply to by eforce

oddjob Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:14 Permalink

Only a pussy would apologize. He must have a cushy job he loves that pays too much for doing very little.

In a World of survival of the fittest, Ben B. would be glue in 5 minutes.

Rex Andrus E.F. Mutton Wed, 05/16/2018 - 12:43 Permalink

I experience pussies and fags "calling out my sexism and racism" all the time. My attitude triggers them. They stand around looking expectant of an apology, exchanging gloating glances, then I tell them all to fuck off. I often laugh at their expressions this produces, which produces secondary comical and malign expressions. Don't try to red pill freaks you know are on psych meds.

In reply to by E.F. Mutton

ZENDOG Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:18 Permalink

Yup, only pussies apologize.....

Al Franken should not have resigned,,,,,,he was a dick liberal,,,,,,but he should have said F U ......

GreatUncle Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

"low productivity growth during the 19th century"

The wonderful 19th century ... when the internal combustion engine and other such production methods really start to come on line.

You would think we would have overcome the low productivity growth ... not possible it is a state of technology.

In all this fuckers like him have a nice life with big payouts for the inevitable can't do shit about it "low productivity growth". But all us poor fuckers are expected to suffer his unpreventable fraudulent economic policy.

Son of Captain Nemo Wed, 05/16/2018 - 11:29 Permalink

God Damn but wouldn't it be funny as hell if he had a "poster w/ picture" of Theresa May wearing a Tiara with a caption under it that reads...

"The British Bitch ain't layin eggs No More"... And if she "IS" they sure as hell ain't Gold or Silver ONES!...

God Save The "Royals"!... TO OUR "END"!!!