Alistair Darling's exasperation at his haughty treatment by the Bank of England was laid bare again last week when he told a parliamentary hearing that its governor behaved like "some kind of Sun King".
The former chancellor revealed in his recent memoirs that at one point he became so exasperated that he asked for legal advice about whether he could overrule the mighty Sir Mervyn, who, unlike many of the other targets for Darling's ire, is still in office.
We could be about to get more details about the stand-off between the two men at the height of the credit crunch, when Gordon Brown's decision to give the Bank its independence in 1997 came back to bite Darling and his advisers. While they were struggling to bring the banking crisis under control, they found themselves simultaneously having to persuade a sceptical governor of the necessity of rescuing the clapped-out Northern Rock, and eventually much of the rest of the banking sector, while he was still lecturing the City about "moral hazard". One insider recalls that King was reluctant to deal directly with Darling, complaining that he was "not my intellectual equal".
With the Bank about to get a whole raft of new powers, the exact dividing line between the Bank and the Treasury will become all the more important. Thomas Paterson, chief economist of the investor news service Gold Made Simple, was so intrigued by Darling's request for legal advice that he has made a freedom of information request to the Treasury, asking for any documents or written advice it holds in relation to the chancellor's authority to overrule Threadneedle Street, and whether they were made available to the Bank.
The Treasury has responded that while the information in question is covered by two partial exemptions to the Freedom of Information Act - legal privilege and "section 29(1)(a) (the economy)" - they are weighing up whether the public interest in revealing the information should outweigh those reservations. They've promised to reply by 1 November: watch this space.