Saturday 16 December 2017

Second former IMF official named for bank inquiry

Emmet Oliver

Another senior ex-IMF official has been appointed to conduct the preliminary inquiry into the causes of the banking crisis by Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan.

The German economist and former IMF official, Klaus Regling, will be joined by Max Watson, who left the IMF in 2002 after 20 years there, finishing up as a deputy director.

Mr Regling and Mr Watson, who has also worked for other international bodies, will write a report to be submitted to Mr Lenihan in the coming months.

Mr Lenihan said of Mr Watson: "He brings extensive experience to this work, including senior positions in the IMF, the European Commission and the Bank of England. Together with his ongoing academic and consulting work, this experience will enable Mr Watson to provide valuable insights to the preliminary investigation into the banking crisis that will complement that of Mr Regling''.

He said he was confident Mr Watson and Mr Regling could identify "the central causes of the crisis''. He said their work would provide the background for the work of the statutory Commission of Inquiry. This is the body which can hold hearings in public, but it is not clear whether this will happen. The bank enquiry deals with issues up to September 29, 2008.

It does not deal with subsequent events like the nationalisation of Anglo Irish Bank or the capitalisations of AIB and Bank of Ireland

Mr Watson is a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, a Visiting Fellow at the European Studies Centre in St Antony's College, Oxford and also director of research at the financial consultancy John Howell and Co.

Irish Independent

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