Brown is upset with the Bank of England. Apparently, Mervyn King is being a little too pessimistic about the prospects for the UK economy:
From today's FT:
The Bank of England’s gloomy outlook for the economy has stoked tensions between Gordon Brown and Mervyn King, the Bank’s governor, with senior government officials complaining that the central bank is handing ammunition to the Tories.
There is growing irritation in Downing Street and the Treasury towards Mr King. The prime minister and Alistair Darling, chancellor, have been left fuming by the governor’s interventions, most notably after his downbeat assessment this month of the economic outlook, a viewpoint pounced on by the Conservatives.
Such ingratitude. The Bank of England has cut rates to zero; compromised its balance sheet to support failing commercial banks and offered almost unlimited credit to the UK government via the Asset Purchase Scheme. For Brown, however, it is still not enough. He wants to Bank of England to sing a sweet song about UK growth prospects.
If anyone had any illusions about Bank of England independence, then Brown's little tantrum should dispel them.