Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Milton

Why Iceland Is Not In The News Anymore.....

Recommended Posts

Brilliant Article from the News Blog. [Thanks to GC]

http://sacsis.org.za...e/article/728.1

An Italian radio program's story about Iceland's on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt.

The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion. As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here's why:

Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world.

In 2003 all the country's banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors.

But as investments grew, so did the banks' foreign debt. In 2003 Iceland's debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent. The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro. At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution. But only after much pain.

Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures. The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.

Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign.

Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to its demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros. This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeer's back.

What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland's leaders to the side of their constituents.

The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland's citizens responsible for its bankers' debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.

Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country.

As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF. The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: "We were told that if we refused the international community's conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North. But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North." (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)

In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated.

With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.

But Icelanders didn't stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money. (The one in use had been written when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, in 1918, the only difference with the Danish constitution being that the word 'president' replaced the word 'king'.)

To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent's meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.

Some readers will remember that Iceland's ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamond's book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution. And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat.

They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.

That's why it is not in the news anymore.

This is what should happen everywhere. From Greece to Ireland, to the UK.

It's the will of the people.

Edited by Milton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant Article from the News Blog. [Thanks to GC]

http://sacsis.org.za...e/article/728.1

This is what should happen everywhere. From Greece to Ireland, to the UK.

It's the will of the people.

Did you see Keiser report last night?

Very interesting interview with Birgitta Jónsdóttir who is an MP in Iceland

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birgitta_J%C3%B3nsd%C3%B3ttir

Im sure it's on youtube already haven't got time to look right now

Very intersting , things are not quite as they seem in Iceland :ph34r:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you see Keiser report last night?

Very interesting interview with Birgitta Jónsdóttir who is an MP in Iceland

Im sure it's on youtube already haven't got time to look right now

Interview with Birgitta Jónsdóttir 12:30 in. [Excellent Viewing. Thanks]

The IMF is Satan Incarnate

We all know what the Function of the IMF is. And that is not to look after the people, but to look after the people who have the power. They are looking after the one percent, not the ninety nine percent

From the mouth of an elected politician!!:blink:

Edited by Milton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Free money? :)

Not free, there is a potential for QE to induce inflation if the amount of money added outweighs inflation. But in that situation I fail to see how printing the money rather than taking it from the IMF is any different. You are still increasing the money supply by the same amount, but with the IMF you need to pay interest on top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not free, there is a potential for QE to induce inflation if the amount of money added outweighs inflation. But in that situation I fail to see how printing the money rather than taking it from the IMF is any different. You are still increasing the money supply by the same amount, but with the IMF you need to pay interest on top.

Unless you think it's onerous and referendum it, in which case it's free money.

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its quite revealing how many cronies of the banks are being wielded out to scream for their money back. They never worry about the poor being driven into the ground in the third world through IMF lending policies.

This has been an interesting revelation into how the mask slips when the elite aren't getting their way. The BBC might as well rename themselves IMF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, don't follow you there. Could you explain more fully? Thanks

Iceland don't have to pay their loans back. The population is right behind the idea of not having the piss taken out of them.

So why not take some loans out?

if it works out, great. if it doesn't, simply don't pay. this is what happens when repayment is optional. also they get lower interest rates, as do all people who can walk off from their debts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Iceland don't have to pay their loans back. The population is right behind the idea of not having the piss taken out of them.

So why not take some loans out?

if it works out, great. if it doesn't, simply don't pay. this is what happens when repayment is optional. also they get lower interest rates, as do all people who can walk off from their debts.

Oh I see what you are saying. I am not sure that is what the Iceland got had in mind though when they went to the IMF

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Iceland only has a population of 320'000. It is proud of itself and culturally cohesive.

That makes it much easier to get through things like they have; it's harder to take the piss from the shadows in a society like that.

Plentiful geothermal power also reduces the ability to hold them to ransom.

On the downside, that wittering a*sehole Einar from the Sugarcubes is culture minister or something. Can't have everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Iceland only has a population of 320'000. It is proud of itself and culturally cohesive.

That makes it much easier to get through things like they have; it's harder to take the piss from the shadows in a society like that.

Plentiful geothermal power also reduces the ability to hold them to ransom.

On the downside, that wittering a*sehole Einar from the Sugarcubes is culture minister or something. Can't have everything.

default. You know it makes sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went there recently

One of the locals explained that things were grim. Unemployment had shot up from 0% to 10%

I don't think they have any concept of how f***** things are elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went there recently

One of the locals explained that things were grim. Unemployment had shot up from 0% to 10%

I don't think they have any concept of how f***** things are elsewhere.

but, they dont have the mortgage for the debt to pay off....they can afford to earn less.

Its like they have lost their job while having taken on £140K in mortgage and 50K in loans. they cant service it now, yet the Bankers want them to....blood doesnt come out of stones, but that doesnt stop the bankers trying to make it so with the Piigs, the US and the UK.

Taking on more debt when you cant pay what you already have is just plain madness, specially for the lenders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When Greece starts defaulting propper and sticks it's fingers up to the IMF and Euro (as they should) expect them to dissappear from the media as well.

2012 really could be the end of the world as we know it trigger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What did Iceland need a loan from the IMF for? They are a sovereign nation with their own currency.

To repay the Icesave deposits to the British and Dutch Financial Services Compensation Schemes. Nobody wanted to buy the Iceland Krona at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Free money? :)

Did you watch the interview Injin?

Nobody seems to know who owns the banks in Iceland now? They won't even tell their own MP's.....

The government would have bailed out the banks if they could have , luckily for the people they couldn't get

the money.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The article mentions loans of millions, surely it should be billions?

A population of 320,000 would only need about $10 each to pay off a $3.2M loan

Is Iceland still important strategically for the UK and the US? maybe that's why we didn't chase them too hard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To repay the Icesave deposits to the British and Dutch Financial Services Compensation Schemes. Nobody wanted to buy the Iceland Krona at the time.

It is amazing that Iceland even considered covering the losses of foreign investors. Beyond bizarre.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 277 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.