The British wife of the new Bank of England Governor is a strident environmental activist who urges people to spend less money on possessions, and once declared: “Having more stuff does not make us happy.”
Diana Carney has expressed sympathy for the anti-banking Occupy movement and suggested that global financial institutions are “rotten or inadequate”.
She (SNP: ^SHEY - news) has described the notion that humans should halt all consumption to save the environment as a “good point” but “very hard given the way our societies function”, and has also lamented the “relentless exhortations to buy and the fact that much of our sense of self is tied up in our possessions”.
Mrs Carney, who met her husband, Mark, at Oxford, is vice-president of Canada 2020, a Left-wing think tank, and reviews environmentally-friendly products. The couple, who have four daughters with dual British-Canadian citizenship, live in Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa, one of Canada’s richest enclaves where their neighbours include ambassadors and executives. Mr and Mrs Carney bought their home for £800,000 in August 2003, but its value is believed to have risen substantially. Records suggest that they made £95,000 of improvements in 2009.
In an article this month, Mrs Carney said that income inequality in countries such as Canada and Britain was “the defining issue of our time”.
“The politics of division are coming home to roost,” she wrote. “The grass is always greener on the other side and the Occupy movement has provided a voice to many unhappy people.”
Attacking the “visibility and excess” of top earners, she added: “I perceive a fear that the institutions that underpin our country and the global system are either threatened, rotten or inadequate to face down the challenges of the future.”
Mrs Carney met her husband after he put his career on hold in 1991 to study for a master’s degree then a doctorate in economics at Oxford. She had obtained a First (OTC BB: FSTC.OB - news) -class degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and earned a Masters in agricultural economics. The couple married in 1995, before Mr Carney returned to investment banking.
Mrs Carney also urges readers of her website to live frugally. Describing herself as a “farmer’s daughter” she wears recycled vegan shoes, describes environmentally-friendly ways to tackle head lice and recommends “gardening with cow poo”. “Reducing consumption, or returning it to levels that are sustainable, is critical overall,” she wrote online.
“Fortunately, it has been repeatedly shown that having more stuff does not make us happy, so we should be able to make that step”.