Credit crisis in spotlight as parliamentary inquiry reports on causes

A parliamentary inquiry team will today publish its report into the causes of the 2008 and 2009 credit crisis, which led to the nationalisation of ABN Amro bank.

The team, led by Socialist MP Jan de Wit, heard evidence from dozens of bankers, economists and politicians last year in an effort to find out if the government had reacted properly to the crisis by bailing out financial institutions.
The report will be the second produced by the De Wit committee. The first damning report, published in May 2010, focused on the Dutch financial sector itself and stated banks and other institutions ‘took unacceptable risks, and lost sight of the public interest.’
Key questions
The NRC says the inquiry team will answer a number of key questions.
Firstly, did the government pay too much when it took over ABN Amro for €16.8bn in October 2008? And although that was the official price, the actual cost was nearer €30bn, the paper says.
Secondly, the inquiry will state whether ministers at the time kept parliament properly informed during the banking crisis. In particular, the €22bn guarantee given to ING to cover its risky US mortgage portfolio was approved without any consultation with parliament, the paper points out.
Other questions the report will set out to answer involve the performance of the Dutch central bank, which has been criticised for its slow reaction to the crisis.

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