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Raghuram Rajan among forerunners for Bank of England top job: report

The selection for the most important appointed position in the British public life will be made by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond around October this year

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Raghuram Rajan among forerunners for Bank of England top job: report
Raghuram Rajan is a close second to top contender Andrew Bailey for the next Bank of England Governor.

Although he has turned down these speculations in the past, Raghuram Rajan is still among the top picks for the next governor at Bank of England. Out of the six contenders for the job, reports suggest that the former RBI Governor is the second favourite to take over from the incumbent Mark Carney.

The appointment will be made by Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond around October this year. After extending his term twice, the Treasury is sure that Mark Carney will stand down as the Bank of England Governor in January 2020. The selected candidate will come into the most powerful appointed position in British public life by February 2020.

If the bookies are any guide, Andrew Bailey, the chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, is the favourite, but his odds are drifting out a little, while Raghuram Rajan, the urbane Chicago economics professor and former governor of the Reserve Bank of India, is running him a close second, said the Financial Times.

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Rajan served as the RBI Governor from 2013 to 2016, and as the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2003 to 2007. After exiting RBI he went back to Chicago to continue his work as an academician. Even early last year, he had refuted similar speculations of him taking the top job at the Bank of England.

None of the other contenders have shown interest in the job publicly, either, knowing how important it is to be approached and asked to apply by the Treasury or its headhunter, Sapphire Partners, Financial Times went on to say.

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Notably, Rajan is not the only Indian in the race. Shristi Vadera, the chairperson of Santander UK, is also among the six probable replacements for Carney despite no experience with central banks. She, however, is known for her work as a no-nonsense minister in the Gordon Brown government.

Philip Hammond has said that a candidate from a Commonwealth country will be welcome, if the post-Brexit Britain does not turn out to be too hostile, FT said. No matter who is selected, the next Bank of England governor will have his work cut out for him with Brexit in the picture.

However, there is a chance that British PM Theresa May and Hammond might be out of government by the time decision on the next Bank of England governor is taken. The upcoming European elections next month might see the end of May's reign, and even change the list of contenders.

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