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Mark Carney's leap to the top of Britain's banking elite jolted Londoners, who consider themselves global finance royalty and found themselves united over one head-scratching question: "A Canadian?"

The new Bank of England governor comes from the colonies!" Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow announced, firing off an e-mail to his 35,000 online "followers" before softening the blow. "Not just any old colony, but one which has pioneered the best banking regulation anywhere in the world."

As the reality set in, there were a few more grudging positives. "Well, he's in the Empire, sort of," said one reporter, followed by: "And, at least he's not one of those dastardly Americans."

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