Former DNB president: no one foresaw crisis

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Former president of the Dutch Central Bank DNB Nout Wellink says no one, with the exception of a few prophets, foresaw the credit crisis at the end of 2008.

He told the De Wit inquiry that he had issued serious warnings in April of the same year that the liquidity crisis that had begun in 2007 was not over: “But we did not take a system crisis into account.”

Mr Wellink thinks the parliamentary inquiry should not be looking at why no one did anything in the spring of 2008, but at why no one saw how bad the crisis was going to be. If it did, it would draw a different conclusion than that the central banks were “not alert enough”.

The DNB was one of the very first in the world to investigate which instruments were required to combat the crisis, Mr Wellink said. It also took immediate action when the credit crisis broke after the fall of Lehman Brothers in mid-September. “In retrospect, I’m astonished what DNB did in a short amount of time.”

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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