Latest news on successor for Wellink; candidate Kremers no longer available..

The last couple of weeks, we witnessed an interesting public debate on the question which candidate would be the best to be the successor to President Wellink of the Dutch central bank (DNB). Where at first we expected a silent appointment by government, on the basis of a list of three candidates, last week the debate came out in the open, thanks to the Financieele Dagblad. After which the Minister of Finance and a number of politicians hurried to outline that there would not be a choice on the basis of political background.

Today, the Financieele Dagblad once again stirs the debate by announcing the news that one of the candidates Kremers, has withdrawn from the race for President. If I try to guess why I can only come up with two reasons. One is a sense of personal pride, where Kremers perhaps feels so superior that the idea that he is not the number 1 candidate, is unbearable to him. And rather than awaiting the outcome of the race he steps down, so that until eternity he can claim: 'I was in the race to become President of DNB but declined in order for government to be able to solve the issue'. But there is also a second/third option and that is that he has got another offer on the table, which he accepted. And that offer could either be from DNB/Ministry of Finance (and constitute an appointment as Director for Bank Supervision) or from his own bank (getting more money or a different role or stuff like that).

So now the race for President is between Hoogduin en van Dijkhuizen. But we must not overlook the silent game of DNB in this. That might be a game of time and pragmatism. Because, if the government decides at the end of May that van Dijkhuizen is the man, van Dijkhuizen only has one month left to leave his current job and start his new job on July 1. So every kind of delay might be an advantage to the insider candidate. And that might be the silent strategy by DNB. We just don't know.

The only thing we do know: To be continued.

PS. And the next part of the sequel occurred this very afternoon. Wellink has indicated on a conference that he was certain that the new Director Supervision would be an outsider. So that means more possibility that we will end up with Kremers to be appointed in that role.