A radical change at the top of the Bank of England is a smart place to start if you want to persuade the world that your banks are changing radically, too.
That’s a central message of George Osborne’s announcement of Mark Carney, Canada’s central banker, as the Bank’s new Governor.
The announcement shows Osborne still has the ability to surprise on the big decisions. And it should provide the Chancellor with some momentum going into next week’s Autumn Statement.
But the harsh realities of Britain’s economic reality will be brought home as early as Tuesday with the Office for National Statistics publishing a revision to its third-quarter statistics.
It had originally estimated that GDP grew 1pc in the three months but a worse than expected out-turn for construction and manufacturing (numbers that weren’t available for its original take) are likely to trim growth back to 0.9pc.
Hardly a disaster but, at a time when any growth is hard come by, it’s a timely reminder that we remain mired in economic difficulties.
What the Chancellor can actually do about that appears extremely limited. The annual deficit remains out of control and the total stock of public debt continues to rack up. His goal of having debt falling by 2016 looks beyond reach.
The long-term solutions to the economy’s problems do not seem to match the short term political solutions that Osborne and his Westminster colleagues are seeking to get them back into power come May 2015.
But a bout of long-termism may just be the one positive message that the Treasury can deliver to an electorate that is wiser to the problems of the economy than Downing Street’s opinion polls suggest.
People lucky enough to have jobs and that’s a lot more people than many economists expected would be the case at this stage, given the severity and longevity of this crisis - are generally well aware of the problems that their employers face.
But having succeeded in both keeping so many people in work for so long and so successfully keeping the effects of recession from forcing them under, it’s time that business was given far more weight and influence when it comes to the Coalition’s policy making.
On Monday the Telegraph reported how the pharmaceutical industry, led by Novartis and already identified by government as an industry the UK must support, has had to convene an emergency summit to try to persuade policy makers that research hold ups and other bundles of red tape are creating a significant barrier to jobs and investment staying here in the UK.
On Tuesday we report how the aerospace and defence industries have joined forces to urge the Coalition to adopt policies to back investment in skills and technology if we are to have any chance of keeping ahead of what they describe as a global technology and skills race.
Time and again business has come up with practical proposals for how the Government can boost the economy but time and again they have fallen on deaf ears. Despite the ailing banks, our private sector has continually proved it understands how to manoeuvre and survive in these troubled economic times. Surely its time for the Coalition to not just listen, but act on its advice too.