Carney Tells Cohn He’s Wrong as Goldman Veterans Spar on Brexit
Bank of England chief Mark Carney took issue with Gary Cohn on Thursday after his former Goldman Sachs colleague waded into the controversy over Brexit.
Cohn, a former chief economic adviser at the White House under Donald Trump, had suggested that a U.K. departure from the European Union without an agreed transition might be better than prolonged uncertainty. “He’s wrong,” the governor told reporters in London.
“No deal, as a crystallization of a bad economic outcome, is not preferable to the possibility of a better economic outcome. And we have said, since immediately following the referendum, that whatever outcome the country chooses, it is always preferable to have a transition to it.”
Cohn told the BBC in an interview that “any forward progress at this point is good.”
“This is another one of those economic geopolitical situations that has to be solved. And if it’s hard, soft, it has to be solved. And what tends to happen is, countries are more resilient than people think.”
A Brexit without an agreed transition is still better than where Britain is now, “because literally you have no capital investment going on right now,” Cohn went on to say.
Cohn was president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs when he left to work for Trump in 2017. He and Carney were contemporaries at the investment bank for more than a decade. When first confronted with Cohn’s words, the governor joked that he didn’t know who that was.
“Never heard of him,” he said with a grin. “Can you pass that on to Gary that I’ve never heard of him?”
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.