Facts about the inquiry:
RTÉ News: Govt proposes banking commission
The Commission, which is to be established by the end of June, will have six months to investigate the causes of the systemic failures of Irish banking.
Its work will be preceded by two reports - one by the Governor of the Central Bank, Patrick Honohan, on the performance of the financial regulatory system, and another by a recognised expert, or experts, who will conduct a preliminary investigation into the causes of the banking crisis and the lessons to be learned from it.
These reports are to be delivered by the end of May, and will inform the terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation.
The form looks about right to me, update from Dáil is here and here
Update: full Lenihan Statement is here- it explicitly confirms the government itself is in scope of the inquiries:
Update:These reports will also consider the international, social and macro-economic policy environment which provided the context for the recent crisis. I expect both reports to be completed by the end of May this year and laid before the Houses shortly thereafter....
* the response of the relevant Government Departments and agencies, including the linkage between the banking crisis and overall economic management.
To clarify the streams are:
Report by 31 May: Preliminary inquiries 1a) "Regulation" under Patrick Honohan 1b)"Wider matters" under an international expert(s)
Then the Dáil will define exact scope for:
Report by 31 Dec: 2) Commission itself chaired by an international expert
The relevant act for the main inquiry will be the COMMISSIONS OF INVESTIGATION ACT 2004
It confirms investigation should be private
But with substantial powers to compel witnesses and seize documents (even from private residences)
My opinion on scope required:
In my view the commission will need to address both the property bubble and the loans bubble. These stakeholders need to be examined:
- Irish bankers
- CB & FR staff
- Dep Fin & Taois civil servants
- ECB & EC staff
- Banking independent directors
- Ratings agencies
- Those in the interbank debt market
- Trade unionists
Bubbles have always been a feature of open markets, so the inquiry has to be mindful of that , my view is that serious expertise will be needed to delve into them:
- economists (macro, property, investment & behavioral)
- banking experts
- and more...
Areas of investigation would need to cover:
- Journalistic coverage at the time
- The Irish cultural obsession with owning property
- Internal minutes from bank boards and management committees (especially to see how dissent was treated)
- Structural deficiencies of the property market (shoddy conveyancing process, lack of pricing data etc)
- All above mentioned stakeholders etc
Given the cost of these bubbles and their effects: I think we can afford to spend a few million and get the best international experts in.