What the new Bank of Canada governor's signature may say about him

Every single Canadian banknote contains the signature of the governor of the Bank of Canada. CBC News consulted a noted handwriting expert to analyze the signature of Stephen Poloz, the newly appointed Bank of Canada governor, as well as four of his predecessors, to see what their scrawl says about their personalities.

Handwriting analysis: Does the chicken scratch or careful cursive curl on your money predict an optimistic future?

Stephen Poloz (right) was appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada on May 2. He takes over from Mark Carney (left) on June 3 for a seven-year term. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Stephen Poloz, who currently heads the Export Development Corporation, was appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada on Thursday for a seven-year term that starts June 3.

As Governor of the Bank of Canada, Poloz will be responsible for monetary policy, overseeing the country's financial system and the production and distribution of the new polymer currency.

As well, every new Canadian banknote will carry his signature.

Now that we know that Poloz will be the next governor, we thought it would be fun to ask a handwriting expert to analyze the signatures of the last few governors, as well as the next man to sign Canadian banknotes.

Elaine Charal analyzes handwriting for clues about someone's personality; companies consult her in their executive hiring decisions. Graphology is not science —for a critique, see the link in the left column by former Simon Fraser University pyschologist Barry Beyerstein.

Here's a synopsis of Charal's take on the signatures of the future of Bank of Canada governor and his four predecessors.

Stephen Poloz

Newly announced Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz. (CBC)

Stephen’s signature moves up dramatically on his page, indicating his positive, optimistic outlook. The underscore under his name indicates his self-reliance. 

His signature is illegible, indicating that while he has created a trademark signature, he is also a very private person who does not wish to be known to others. 

There is a figure-eight stroke formation in the capital S of Stephen’s first name and a figure-eight stroke between the E and P of his first name, indicating his fluid quick-mindedness —  this allows Stephen to anticipate what someone will say and then smooth over or troubleshoot the issue without anyone fully realizing he has shifted the subject to safe waters. 

The angled strokes between some of his letters indicates his drive to achieve.

Mark Carney

Soon-to-be-ex-Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney. (CBC)

Mark’s high capital letters indicate his confidence. Mark’s writing is obviously quick, indicating his quick mind. 

The angle stroke between the initial upward stroke of his M indicates his wit; the angled upward wedges of his capital M indicates his investigative thinking — few tell Mark what to do.

The hook at the end of the capital M in his first initial, as well as the hook on the Y of his family name, indicates his tenacity. He doesn’t give up until all prospects have been explored, and once he achieves something, it is his to keep. 

The needle-pointed R in his family name indicates his sharp mental perceptions. 

His straight downstroke on the Y of his family name indicates his determination. 

The underscore effect of the Y of his family name indicates Mark’s self-reliance.

Mark’s A is pinched, indicating he’ll tend to do more for others than he realizes. His A resembles an O, indicating Mark works hard and makes it look easy.

David A. Dodge

Former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge. (CBC)

David’s initials and family name all join together, indicating his fluidity of mind. This fluidity helps David dodge verbally around difficult issues and helps him change the subject without anyone fully realizing what he is doing. 

His delta D in his family name indicates his literary ability and creativity.

The figure-eight G in David’s family name further indicates fluidity of mind.

David’s greek E at the end of his signature indicates further his literary ability and creativity. 

The long, straight stroke at the end of his signature indicates his caution: as quickly as he thinks, he tries to think things through one more time before he acts. 

The star shape in David’s capital A in his middle initial indicates his tenacity.

Gordon Thiessen

Former Bank of Canada governor Gordon Thiessen. (CBC)

Gordon’s high capital letters indicate his good level of confidence. 

The circling effect in his signature is a protective stroke that keeps only those close to him within that inner circle. 

The breakaway V-stroke in the H of his family name indicates his initiative. Gordon doesn’t wait for much, but goes after what needs to be done. 

The needle points throughout the rest of his family name indicate his quick, comprehensive thinking. Gordon will do best when he is communicating with people who are as quick-minded as he is. 

His signature is illegible, which indicates he has created a trademark signature, and, on a deeper level, that Gordon is a private type of individual who does not readily communicate who he is to others. 

John Crow

Former Bank of Canada governor John Crow. (CBC)

John’s very high capital letters indicate a high level of confidence. 

The flat-bottom loop on his capital J indicates his need to excel and to best his personal best. 

The underscore effect of John’s capital J indicates his self-reliance. 

John’s family name is a print-writing (part printing/part writing), which suggests above-average intelligence. 

The final stroke of John’s W flips back, shielding the second portion of his letter W, suggesting that John is not the best when it comes to accepting advice from others.