TIME MAGAZINE named Andy Haldane as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, but the new chief economist at the Bank of England was in no doubt who inspired him.
It was Peter Bates, who taught him A-level economics at Guiseley School, a former comprehensive on the outskirts of Leeds.
“He was fabulous,” said Mr Haldane. “This was early 80s. It was grim. There was that massive unemployment problem. He brought that to light. That’s what made economics interesting for me.
“It really mattered. My friends had fathers who were unemployed off the back of this. It was really for real. And public policy was really for real, really early on.”
Mr Haldane, whose father played trumpet in orchestras, went on to read economics at Sheffield University and joined the Bank of England in 1989.
He said: “I have done 25 years at the Bank this year.
“Throughout that time, whether it’s falling out of the exchange rate mechanism, or starting inflation targeting, or central bank independence, or the Asian financial crisis, or the global financial crisis, or now back to monetary policy, they have all been massive events that have really affected people and if public policy and central banks can do just a bit to head that off and make it a bit better then what could be better than that?”
His teacher Mr Bates is thought to have retired and was yesterday unavailable for comment.
Paul Morrissey, headteacher at Guiseley School, said: “It is fantastic to hear of Andy’s success and that he has achieved one of the highest offices in his chosen profession.
“We are delighted that Andy was so inspired by the teaching he received at our school and this is of particular credit to the record of Mr Bates while he was teaching with us.”