Annemarie says goodbye

annemarie van gaalAll good things must come to an end, and that includes this column. For almost seven years I have shared my opinions, my indignation and my ideas with you. Today is the 350th and final time.

I’m going to be a member of supervisory board of the Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM, the financial sector regulator, DN) and it wouldn’t do to cause raised eyebrows every week. Instead of commenting from the sidelines I will move into a field I love: the financial market where so much is happening, and which needs a critical eye.

It’s with mixed feelings I’m saying goodbye. On the one hand this column took up much time and energy. All week long I considered each news item for column suitability. I would start writing on Friday evening and mail my piece to the Financieele Dagblad on Sunday evening. The following Monday I would start thinking about the next one. A British fellow columnist once compared writing a column to being married to a nymphomaniac: ‘as soon as you’re through you have to start all over again.’

My significant other Rhandy will also miss my columns because I would ask him at least three times to read the final version as he was trying to watch the sports programme on Sunday night. It’s a bit of a shame I won’t be using my folder ‘half-finished columns’ and the list of subjects I would have liked to have written about but won’t now.

Bu I will also miss the influence my columns gave me. It’s exciting to have finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem assure MPs that the AFM really doesn’t have ‘a fetish for ticking boxes’ because of something I wrote, or that social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher reacts to figures I have used, and MPs retweet my columns. I walk on air for a day when one of my columns has caused ministers to revise or adapt a decision. I love it when columns can sharpen and improve discussion.

My new role will certainly not blunt my edge, as some have suggested. I will stay on the ball and offer my opinion as I always do.

And now I will press ‘send’ for the last time.

I hope I have made you frown or smile every once in a while. I will miss you.

Annemarie van Gaal is an entrepreneur and a member of the AFM supervisory board

This column appeared earlier in the Financieele Dagblad. All her columns have been republished on with her permission.

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