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12 February 2010 - Appointment of additional expert to the preliminary investigation into the Banking Crisis

The Minister for Finance, Mr. Brian Lenihan T.D., today announced the appointment of Mr. Max Watson to the preliminary investigation being undertaken into the crisis in our banking system. Mr. Watson will collaborate with Mr. Klaus Regling and will be a co-author of the report to be submitted to the Minister.

The Minister said: “I welcome the additional expertise that Max Watson will bring to this investigation. 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.

I am confident that the report to be prepared by Klaus Regling and Max Watson will identify the central causes of the crisis and provide a firm basis for the work of the statutory Commission of Inquiry.”

The Minister said that Mr. Watson’s appointment to this position follows discussions with the Department of Finance on foot of a recommendation from Mr. Regling and follows from the Minister’s agreement with Mr. Regling that an additional expert be appointed to help him complete his work within the timeframe set out by the Government.

Max Watson is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, a Visiting Fellow at the European Studies Centre in St Antony’s College, Oxford and an Associate Fellow of Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs).

He is also Director of Research at the financial consultancy John Howell and Co., Ltd.

Mr. Watson was also an adviser to Mr. Klaus Regling when he was the Director-General of Economic and Financial Affairs at the European Commission.

He was previously with the IMF from 1979 – 2002, retiring as a Deputy Director.

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