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Iceland Gets "ENRONed," Then Goes For "1776"


Part 2, Act V

Developing a Viable "Work Out" Strategy:
As the City of London, IMF, EU,
and Other Sharks Circle Closer


First edition published 30 May 2010

Adding to the shock of having been added to a "terror" list, Icelanders discovered that many international organizations which ostensibly exist to help financially distressed countries are in actuality wolves in sheeps' clothing.
The major issues were as follows:

a). How to fairly determine the liability of the Icelandic people?

The UK and Netherlands were trying to stick Iceland with a bill of over $5 billion for failed Icesave accounts, amounting to over $20,000 per citizen, yet both the UK and Netherlands governments had a duty to regulate and even insure the Iceland deposit accounts sold in their countries. Furthermore, the Icelandic people were now being put on the hook for backroom deals made by a handful of private financial operators. The attempt to now dump liability on Iceland's taxpayers meant a de facto policy of "privatize the profits, socialize the losses."
If Landsbanki's programs such as Icesave had been a big success, does anyone believe that the owners would have offered to give away their appreciated equity and profits to the Icelandic people? (Of course not!) Why then should the Icelandic people be forced to eat all the downside risk of privately owned bankers if they never get a piece of the upside?
If Icelanders accepted the full liability dumped on them by the City of London, this could cripple the country economically for more than a generation. To add insult to injury, Icelanders were kept in the dark about the amount within Icesave accounts that was recoverable. The City of London initially tried to stick them with the full amount, but then later on in her interview with Alex Jones, Birgitta Jonsdottir suggested that 88% was recoverable!
In other words, Zionist "Trolls" who run the City of London were so low that they tried to bluff Icelanders into debt-slavery. Do I begin to hear the proverbial Greek chorus chant the "Revenge of the Neanderthal" refrain in the background?

b) How to obtain interim financing to keep basic services functioning in the economy?

There was no bailout money forthcoming from New York. While the U.S. is willing to squander trillions to ostensibly support "democracy" among exotic peoples in central Asia with long traditions of "Asiatic despotism," it could spare nothing to assist a Nordic people with very similar republican traditions compared to America's WASP founders.
The Icelandic government was able to obtain some funding from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but at the same time populist politicians discovered sinister strings attached. The pressure to obtain alternative financing became so great that Iceland's central bank courted a Russian loan, and Iceland's President even offered the Russian military use of facilities formerly used by NATO. Perhaps this was only a gesture to send a message to the U.S. and UK, however, Putin and Medvedev declined the offer.

c) Whether or not to join the EU?

Theoretically, by joining the EU, Icelanders would immediately have tariff-free access to a bigger market. Supposedly this would provide an immediate shot in the arm for certain businesses and speed economic recovery.
However, there are many dark sides to EU membership. For starters, many EU members today complain that the EU is in reality dominated by Germany, the "economic locomotive of Europe," which in turn has been obeying the Israeli-U.S.-City of London axis ever since Germany's WWII unconditional surrender. Whenever Israelis demand that Germans build them Dolphin submarines capable of carrying nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, or erect a macabre 4.7 acre conglomeration of 2,711 concrete slabs in Berlin, or ask them to persecute historical free thinkers such as Ernst Zundel, Sylvia Stolz, or Dr. Fredrick Toben, Germany maintains a habit of complying.
Second, joining the EU would create the threat that "European" corporations could move in, shove Icelanders aside, and grab control of Iceland's fishing grounds, geothermal and hydropower areas, potential oil fields, and other natural resources.
In her interview with Alex Jones, member of Parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir described how the City of London showed its real agenda in this regard. First it threatened to block EU membership if Iceland did not agree to its onerous debt terms, and then once seeing that this tactical negotiation ploy got nowhere, flip-flopped 180 degrees and pushed for free EU membership. One way or another, EU corporations clearly want to gain access to Iceland's natural resources.
Third, the EU suffers from increasingly arrogant and burdensome bureaucratic regulation removed from national interests. There is increasing talk in European alternative media about secession of various countries.
Fourth, EU membership would eliminate Iceland's ability to control population flow across its borders. A Third World invasion would be particularly disastrous for such a small country of under 330,000 people, forever destroying their indigenous Nordic culture. Norway itself already has serious demographic problems on its horizon, as noted in the 22 April 2009 article "Will Beautiful Norway be Snuffed Out?" by Arthur Kemp.
Last, but not least, for those of us who admire the ideals of the American Revolution, the idea of adding an extra layer of European government on top of Icelandic government is very suspicious simply on a broad philosophical level. After all the American Revolution was essentially libertarian in nature, based on the idea that in the long run, government tends to be more of the problem than the solution, and once government grows beyond a certain size, it tends to become more of a parasite than a producer. People who advocate Big Government who say "It is different this time" are usually always proven wrong over the long run. So what is different here?

d) How does one create greater accountability in business and government?

Obviously terrible mistakes were made for Iceland to get into such a mess. Who made them? How were they made? What are the facts?
Icelanders have encountered repeated denials and cover ups by their public officials. The report of the official investigation by the Special Investigation Commission (SIC) was delayed until April 2010.
Icelanders developed two novel approaches to force disclosure. First, they staged a "pots and pans" populist revolution in early 2009 to sweep deadbeat politicians out of office. Secondly, they pioneered a "Modern Media Initiative" to promote uncensored journalism and political discourse. Many Icelanders want to develop Iceland as an international free speech haven. After all, free media are the first line of defense against corruption and self-dealing by public officials.
I have collated extracts from a number of online articles that provide important insights into each of these issues:

How to fairly determine the
liability of the Icelandic people?

Eva Joly is a Norwegian-French official who has gained fame as an anti-fraud investigator in Europe. The Icelandic government hired her to examine this affair. In the article "Gordon Brown is wrong, Britain played a part in Icelandic bank collapse," Telegraph.co.uk, 2 Aug 2009, she observed: :

The UK and the Netherlands are concerned by the failure of Icelandic banks Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki because they had welcomed their subsidiaries and branches with open arms, even though their authorities had been at least partially alerted to the risks hanging over those banks. The two countries are now demanding that Iceland pay them astronomical sums (more than €2.7bn (£2.3bn) to the UK and over €1.3bn to the Netherlands, plus interest at 5.5pc in compensation.
They claim Iceland was responsible for guaranteeing funds deposited with Landsbanki's internet arm Icesave, which was offering unbeatable rates
But British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is wrong when he says that he and his government have no responsibility in the matter. First, he has a moral responsibility, having been one of the main proponents of this model which we can now see has gone up the spout. Second, he cannot say that the UK had neither the means nor the legitimacy to supervise Icesave's activities.
Could anyone realistically think that a handful of people in Reykjavik could effectively control the activities of a bank in the heart of the City? European directives concerning financial conglomerates suggest that EU member states allowing foreign banking subsidiaries into their territories must ensure they are subject to the same control abroad as they would be domestically.
So, was there a failure on the part of the British authorities on this point, which would not be particularly surprising considering the "performance" of other English banks during the financial crisis? If so, Mr Brown's activism in relation to Iceland might be motivated by a wish to appear powerful in the eyes of his electorate.
Of course, the Icelandic institutions have much responsibility. But does that necessarily mean that the responsibility of the British authorities should be overlooked, dumping it all on the Icelandic people alone?

Icelanders were kept in the dark about how much within each Icesave account was recoverable. The City of London initially wanted to hit up Icelanders for the full amount. Worse yet, certain Icelandic government officials refused to question this on behalf of the Icelandic people. Later, according to Birgitta Jonsdottir, quite a bit was recoverable, suggesting that the City of London was trying to bluff the Icelandic people:

Jones: I have heard this statement, is it accurate? The finance minister Steingrímur, am I pronouncing that right?, said a "No" vote does not mean we are refusing to pay. What are your thoughts on his statements?
Birgitta: Sometimes it really surprises me what he says. It sounds like he is working for the British and the Dutch, not us.
Jones: So he did say that?
Birgitta: Well he did say that, however let us not forget that the bank in question actually has a sustainable amount of assets that can be recovered. And so far what the British and Dutch can claim in it will actually be recovered by at least 88%.
Jones: Yes, that was in the Times of London. They claimed that you all owed them $20,000+ every individual and they had to take over all your infrastructure. Now they go, "Guess what, we don't even need that money. We already had the assets." So it was a giant --just like the banks here that have robbed us are already recording record profits, the same banks that are trying to rob you. I mean that is such a key point that it turns out that they have the assets to begin with.
Birgitta: Yes, and the thing is that they actually decided that Darling, the financial minister of the UK, he decided to move money within his own ministry and then earmark some of it, $700 billion Icelandic to the Icelandic nation, and then expect us to pay full interest, really high interest on that. I mean it is a brilliant scheme, but we will not do it.
Jones: Exactly, you are wise to it. Americans should get wise as well. The collapse of Iceland was a private matter. "Why did they want the people to pay it?" is a question from "resistarchipelago" [sent in to this station].
Birgitta: Well, I mean in general, like every time you look at how the IMF functions, I was actually reading a secret document leaked to Wikileaks. It was a brilliant source if you want to sort of dig deeper into the real conspiracies of our world. And it was a manual from the military sector in the U.S. talking about unconventional warfare. And in the unconventional warfare, the section about financial warfare, they talk about the IMF as one of their choice weapons. So, you know, I encourage people to study how the IMF functions.
Jones: Exactly. It is a private consortium for blowing out countries. And the banks are attacking America. This is a criminal group...

 

How to obtain interim financing to keep
basic services functioning in the economy?

"Icelandic economy: making sense of the unintelligible" by Alëx, IceNews, 12 November 2008, explains the squeeze play applied to Iceland:

...The REAL scandal is how a country surrounded for decades by close friends and allies is being hung out to dry at the only time in the republic’s history that it really, really needs help from its friends. In these emotionally charged times, Icelanders are angry and upset that the world seems to be happy to watch them return to the Stone Age.
The IMF has delayed its decision on Iceland’s USD 2.1 billion loan request yet again. This time apparently because they want Iceland to secure the remaining four billion of its desired six billion before they approve it – despite already knowing full well that other potential lenders are holding their money back until the IMF approves their loan.
The Swedish business daily Dagens Industri describes Iceland’s current position as “a catch 22 situation”. The Swedish Central Bank is one of the key institutions that has declared it is waiting for IMF money to reach Iceland before it offers the country a loan.
Icelandic suspicions are that the IMF loan is being held up by the Dutch and British governments eager for Iceland to agree to cover the cost of all Icesave deposits before they give the IMF loan their blessing. Under European law, Iceland is responsible for only the first EUR 20,000 in each account.
While the Dutch have hinted that this may be somewhat true, a British government spokesman told Frettabladid today that the UK wants Iceland to receive the loan and that the country has not been using its influence in the IMF to delay the decision...
...Talking of fresh starts: a principal reason for Iceland securing loans worth USD 6 billion is to provide substantial foreign currency reserves to support the Icelandic krona when it is refloated on international markets in the near future. Iceland’s currency absolutely needs to have a decent level of value and stability at whatever cost in order for the country to get back on its feet again.
But does that currency need to be the Icelandic krona? Daniel Gros, director of the Centre for European Policy in Brussels who assisted Montenegro on adopting the euro without joining the European Union, recommends Iceland do the same and that the country do so as soon as possible, Iceland Review reports....

"Iceland Turns Hard Left" by Professor Hannes H. Gissurarson, 2 Feb 2009, explained how the IMF used its lending power to coerce Icelanders into assuming debts for which they may not in fact have been liable:

"In exchange for a $5.1 billion rescue package, the International Monetary Fund (and the European Union) forced Iceland’s government to assume the banks’ commitments for foreign depositors. Thus was created one of the largest public debts per capita: possibly about $10 billion for a nation of 310,000, or more than $30,000 per head."

A Debate Rages in Iceland: Independence vs. I.M.F. Cash by Landon Thomas, Jr., New York Times, 27 July 2009, portrayed an increasingly resentful mood towards the IMF:

...“This is an attack on our sovereignty,” said Ogmundur Jonasson, the country’s health minister. “It reminds me of old colonial times. Gordon Brown had no harsh words for the United States when Lehman Brothers went down and billions of pounds went to the U.S. That was friendship — this is ‘Take the little guy and nail him to the wall.’ ” To not pass the bill, the government says (most of it anyway), would lead to the I.M.F. and other outside lenders withdrawing funds, further jeopardizing the country’s fragile condition.
But detractors say passing it would increase Iceland’s debt burden to 200 percent of gross domestic product, making it one of the most leveraged nations in the world. Ultimately, they say, it could drive Iceland to default.
At the crux of this debate is the Icesave, or “Iceslave,” as it is called here. Icesave accounts were a top-of-the-market gambit by Landsbanki, the most aggressive of the failed Icelandic banks, to raise cash by extending its branch network from tiny Reykjavik to the high streets of London. The reaction to the agreement to make good on the accounts encapsulates all the swelling anger that Icelanders now bear toward bankers, foreign creditors and I.M.F. technocrats — not necessarily in that order...
"On Aug. 3, the I.M.F. is expected to discuss whether to disburse a second tranche of its $2.1 billion loan to Iceland (about a quarter has been disbursed so far). Mr. Rozwadowski says Iceland is on target with steps to balance its budget"

"Iceland Elections: The Revolution Is In (The House)" by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, 26 April 2009, explained how the IMF's methods could cause Iceland's situation to go from bad to worse

The challenges facing Iceland are profound. The IMF has only slowed, but not reversed, the rate of collapse. Unemployment has soared from under 2% to well over 8%. Inflation continues to rage in the 15-20% range. The currency controls imposed by the IMF due to the collapse of the Icelandic krona have essentially prevented Icelandic businesses from doing business abroad, and there is talk of major companies relocating their headquarters to America and Europe.

"Corruption and fraud at IMF, the World Bank" by Bea Edwards, Pocon Record, June 08, 2009, provides important insights into the real character of these international lenders:

But let's forget the "poverty-fighting" track record of these organizations for a moment. Where does each stand in relation to the systemic problem that caused the panic in the first place — lack of oversight? The IMF and World Bank are themselves without any real external oversight. They are virtually impenetrable by the legislatures of their member governments. Labyrinthine bureaucracies, coupled with immunities from national and international laws, have become, for them, impunity.
Neither institution has answered for its track record because no one is entitled to ask. Neither Bank nor Fund officials can be subpoenaed by national legislatures, nor can they be obliged to testify in court. No government can demand internal documents from them. While each has some disclosure policies, these often remain unimplemented because the organizations cannot be sued. This is the stunning contradiction of the G-20 action: the signatories declared, "the era of bank secrecy is over," but then dumped a trillion dollars of public money into the most secretive financial institutions in the world.
To make matters worse, IMF and Bank staff members who witness corruption or fraud (and there are plenty) are not allowed to inform affected governments or the press, except under the most stringent constraints. If they do, they risk deportation back to their home countries. This assures perpetual corruption instead of beneficial reform.

In her interview with Alex Jones, Birgitta Jonsdottir, explained other evil aspects of the IMF that she uncovered:

Birgitta: ...The big problem we are facing now is that you know before the collapse we had like 1% unemployment. In one month it shot up to 10%, and now we are dealing with something around 14%. And people are facing foreclosures and the government is not really capable of dealing with these problems because we are within this IMF program, and they are keeping the interest rates really high, which is a total fail in a situation like this. The interest rates should be similar to your interest rates. Almost zero. So we are, before, like in 2007, we were up on to the UN standard as the most developed nation in the world. Like one of the richest nations in the world. And so this is a huge leap in a really short period of time. There is an Icelandic exodus. There is a lot of people moving away from Iceland because they see no hope being here. And I think it is critical to stop that exodus and to try to find a common vision among different people.
Jones: Absolutely. I mean, we see how the banks destroy societies. First World, the only First World country in Latin America, Argentina, has been destroyed by them. And we see them holding you hostage, cutting off the credit cards, cutting off the trade, trying to force you into submission, but you said "No." So it is important for people to support what you are doing...

Later in this same interview, Birgitta and Jones got back on the topic of the dark side of the IMF

Birgitta: ...Well, what led to the referendum was that basically we had a contract made between the nations last summer. And it was so bad that the Parliament actually had to spend two or three months making amendments to it in order for it to be safe for us to pass it. And it still had high interest but we did put some rules on the payment in accordance with GDP so that if there was no growth in Iceland, they wouldn't pay anything during those years. However, it was extremely bad, and we are still paying 5.5% interest.
Jones: Which compounds. Go ahead.
Birgitta: 5.5% interest on it. So just paying the interest would have like, so 317,000 people in Iceland, 80,000 Icelandic taxpayers would be paying only the interest of this Icesave deal.
Jones: And that is the same model they have used in all these other countries, Third World countries where you will have a billion dollar loan backed by nothing from the IMF or World Bank to save Nigeria, and then 20 years later they owe 50 something billion on one billion dollars.
Birgitta: Exactly. And the thing is that the IMF, which is supposed to be an institute, something that all the nations that are a part of it, pay into every year, and it is supposed not to be interfering between states or between countries. But the Brits are big shareholders in it, and they have been using it to blackmail us into submission. And that upset Iceland tremendously because most Icelanders are not very happy or keen to be in the IMF program to begin with, because being in the IMF program means that there is a complete erosion of everything that we know as a welfare system. And before all of this we had a very good educational system, very good healthcare, everybody had access to healthcare gets the same doctor as the President without paying anything. So we feel that all of that is going to be lost if we do not stand up to these forces that we are dealing with. And I have actually put a proposal in Parliament last week about finding a plan B to get rid of the IMF, because there is a lot of fantastic experts and economists like Joseph Stiglitz and many more who have offered to help us find a solution that would be different than --
Jones: And he said that the banks are engaging in criminal activity and the Federal Reserve is destroying America. He is a Nobel Prize winner for those who don't know.
Birgitta: Yes exactly, I actually had the privilege of meeting with him last year and also Jim Perkins, and Jim Perkins said that we should form an alliance with countries that are facing similar situations as we are in and I think that is actually a very good idea. And I have been trying to encourage this government which is a left wing government which should be fighting very much against having an IMF program in Iceland, which IMF programs go very much into privatization of everything. But we will see what happens. Really the spirit in Iceland right now is like having only 1.3% of the nation saying "Yes" to this Icesave deal, and 93% saying "No." There is really a spirit or demand from the general public that the parties move beyond party politics and start to work for us, not I and I and I. Frankly we need for parties and people to start to focus on joint solutions beyond party politics.
Jones: You have got to circle the wagons against the bankers...

"G. Edward Griffin-The Creature from Jekyll Island…The US Federal Reserve System…," a web blog page, describes a sinister side of the IMF. It refers to G. Edward Griffin, author of the landmark work The Creature from Jekyll Island about the fraudulent Federal Reserve Banking system:

Griffin examines how while the Federal Reserve claims to protect the public that really it is being used to bailout banks and industries to the detriment of the public. Griffin also examines the role of socialism, credit, regulation of the free market, and the S&L crisis. Following this, Griffin turns to the schemes of the Fabian socialists to achieve a world bank which later became the IMF. Griffin sees in such schemes the plots of the elite for a world government. Griffin shows how the New World Order is being set up to finance despotisms and that it is attempting to corrode national sovereignty and the American nation.

 

 

Part 4. G Edward Griffin Interview about UN scam, IMF, Global Agenda, etc. July 2009. YouTube caption: "Mr. Griffin explains how the IMF (International Monetary Fund), an agency of the United Nations, distributes taxpayers' money that strengthens third world dictators."


Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins explains how globalist bankers can even engage in an international version of loan-sharking":

This is the autobiography of a man whose job was to entice leaders of under-developed nations into accepting loans from the IMF and World Bank. The enticement was that the money would be used to expand their infrastructure of roads, railways, electrical power, and communications and, thereby, bring prosperity to these countries. He did this as a corporate economist who deliberately exaggerated the potential for economic return on these investments....
There were two primary objectives of my work. First, I was to justify huge international loans that would funnel money back to MAIN [the firm for which Perkins worked] and other U.S. companies (such as Bechtel, Halliburton, Stone & Webster, and Brown & Root) through massive engineering and construction projects. Second, I would work to bankrupt the countries that received those loans (after they paid MAIN and the other U.S. contractors, of course) so that they would be forever beholden to their creditors, and so they would present easy targets when we needed favors, including military bases, UN votes, or access to oil and other natural resources. (p. 15.)
The unspoken aspect of every one of these projects was that they were intended to create large profits for the contractors and to make a handful of wealthy and influential families in the receiving countries very happy, while assuring the long-term financial dependence and therefore the political loyalty of governments around the world. The larger the loan, the better. The fact that the debt burden placed on a country would deprive its poorest citizens of health, education, and other social services for decades to come was not taken into consideration. (pp. 15, 16.)
However – and this is a very large caveat – if we fail, an even more sinister breed steps in, ones we EHMs refer to as jackals, men who trace their heritage directly to those earlier empires. The jackals are always there, lurking in the shadows. When they emerge, heads of state are overthrown or die in violent “accidents.” And if by chance the jackals fail, as they failed in Afghanistan and Iraq, then the old models resurface. When the jackals fail, young Americans are sent in to kill and to die.” (pp. xx, xxi.)

Many nations have been waking up to the debt traps created by the IMF and other globalist organizations besides Iceland. They have started to devise resistance strategies.
EU/IMF Revolt: Greece, Iceland, Latvia May Lead the Way, by Ellen Brown, December 7, 2009, describes progress made by Argentina to restore sovereignty. .

The Road Less Traveled: Saying No to the IMF

Standing up to the IMF is not a well-worn path, but Argentina forged the trail. In the face of dire predictions that the economy would collapse without foreign credit, in 2001 it defied its creditors and simply walked away from its debts.  By the fall of 2004, three years after a record default on a debt of more than $100 billion, the country was well on the road to recovery; and it achieved this feat without foreign help. The economy grew by 8 percent for 2 consecutive years. Exports increased, the currency was stable, investors were returning, and unemployment had eased. “This is a remarkable historical event, one that challenges 25 years of failed policies,” said economist Mark Weisbrot in a 2004 interview quoted in The New York Times. “While other countries are just limping along, Argentina is experiencing very healthy growth with no sign that it is unsustainable, and they’ve done it without having to make any concessions to get foreign capital inflows.”
Weisbrot is co-director of a Washington-based think tank called the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which put out a study in October 2009 of 41 IMF debtor countries. The study found that the austere policies imposed by the IMF, including cutting spending and tightening monetary policy, were more likely to damage than help those economies.
That was also the conclusion of a study released last February by Yonca Özdemir from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, comparing IMF assistance in Argentina and Turkey. Both emerging markets faced severe economic crises in 2001, preceded by chronic fiscal deficits, insufficient export growth, high indebtedness, political instability, and wealth inequality.
Where Argentina broke ranks with the IMF, however, Turkey followed its advice at every turn. The end result was that Argentina bounced back, while Turkey is still in financial crisis. Turkey’s reliance on foreign investment has made it highly susceptible to the global economic downturn. Argentina chose instead to direct its investment inward, developing its domestic economy.
To find the money for this development, Argentina did not need foreign investors. It issued its own money and credit through its own central bank. Earlier, when the national currency collapsed completely in 1995 and again after 2000, Argentine local governments issued local bonds that traded as currency. Provinces paid their employees with paper receipts called “Debt-Cancelling Bonds” that were in currency units equivalent to the Argentine Peso. The bonds canceled the provinces’ debts to their employees and could be spent in the community. The provinces had actually “monetized” their debts, turning their bonds into legal tender. 
Argentina is a large country with more resources than Iceland, Latvia or Greece, but new technologies now allow even small countries to become self-sufficient. See David Blume, Alcohol Can Be a Gas

In his 27 April 2010 show, 4th hour at 40:11, Alex Jones explained how the IMF and World Bank are now poised as enemies of America:

...[There are] hundreds of nations that the IMF and World Bank have wrecked, which are holding companies for the big private central banks. These are criminals. They are economic hit men. In 2002 the BBC got internal IMF documents where they were rigging the destruction of Third World countries and planning to do it to the West next. That is in my book Descent into Tyranny written eight years ago. We have been warning you. We have their plans. Their plans are in our hands. We are not flying blind here. We know they are going to do. And just as we told you a year ago, they would then come out and propose, "Oh, you are never going to get your standard of living back. We have got to cut all your services. All the money goes to us." And now that is happening. And the lingo of the International Monetary Fund, the future of the world hinges on "rebalancing and consolidation," antiseptic words that would seem not to raise a fuss. Who does not want more balance in their life? But the translation is a bit ruder. Something on the order of "Suck it up, the party is over." And that is the headline. And to keep it on track, they need more taxes, it says it right here, more taxes, less services. You see, they hold you hostage. Give us trillions or we will cause a depression. Henry Paulson went before the House and Senate and told them that in closed session. We had Congressmen on to tell you this before it was mainstream news..".

 


IMF: The American Dream Is Over; Americans must work past age 65 and pay higher taxes. Suck it up, Americans!

 

Whether or not to join the EU?

With Friends Like the Brits, Who Needs Enemies? by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, June 21, 2009 explains why Iceland should be wary of EU membership:

What proof is there that we won't be treated like a bunch of hillbillies (which is how we are now being treated)? This is how they treat us now, and their past dealings with Iceland frankly are not encouraging. England with America sets up an air force base in WWII, to protect themselves; then they come in the 70s and steal our fish until they're forced to stop. Then they make sure Icelandic banks go under, next they go after the banks, and after that, the government. Why in the world would we want to join an organization with people that treat us like this?

The Wikipedia article "2008-2009 Icelandic Financial Crisis," explains how not belonging to the EU helped Iceland avoid getting tied to bankers' debt:

...One of the governors of the Central Bank of Iceland, Davíð Oddsson, was interviewed on Icelandic public service broadcaster RÚV and stated that "we [the Icelandic State] do not intend to pay the debts of the banks that have been a little heedless". He compared the government's measures to the U.S. intervention at Washington Mutual, and suggested that foreign creditors would "unfortunately only get 5–10–15% of their claims". A long standing opponent of Icelandic membership of the European Union and adoption of the euro as national currency, he also claimed that "[i]f we were tied to the euro, […] we would just have to succumb to the laws of Germany and France."[53]

New EU Gestapo Spies on Britons by Mary Reynolds, 26 March 2010, provides an example where increasingly EU regulation infringes on civil liberties:

Europol can access personal information on anyone – including their political opinions and sexual preferences – if it suspects, rightly or wrongly, that they may be involved in any “preparatory act” which could lead to criminal activity.
The vagueness of the Hague-based force’s remit sparked furious protests yesterday with critics warning that the EU snoopers threaten our right to free speech.

The following is the segment from the 9 March 2010 Birgitta Jonsdottir interview with Alex Jones where they discussed the flip-flop behavior that has caused many Icelanders to distrust the motives of major EU members:

Alex Jones: ...here is a Twitter question ..."What is the consequences of not conforming to EU demands?"
Birgitta: Well, there has been a lot of doomsday consequences, scenarios told to the nation. I seriously have a feeling because of this very strong signal from the Icelandic nation and actually very little interest among nations that join the EU that there was exactly a statement made by the chief of the EU application procedure, saying that the UK, Netherlands, and Iceland --the application should not be interfered, you know, with despite --.
Jones: So, so first they were threatening to not let you in. Now that you don't want in, they are saying, "Oh no, go ahead and come in, we want to rob you like Greece."

 

Is the EU a solution for Iceland? france24english — February 25, 2009 — 2009: Europe on the move: A complete collapse of the country's financial system eventually brought down the 18-year-old government. There's been a lot of speculation that Iceland could become an EU member by 2011 but the fishing industry could just be the sticking point. See also Europe's western outpost mulls membership of the club, france24english — September 16, 2009 — One year after its economy was swept away by the crisis, Iceland is still debating whether to seek the protection of EU membership. The prime minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, wants to join the club, but others fear they will lose their sovereignty.

 

Iceland EU Application Hinges On Fishing by Carl Ritter, Huffington Post, 23 July 2009, describes how the Icelandic Parliament decided to go ahead with the EU application, but with reservations:

STOCKHOLM — Iceland formally applied Thursday to join the European Union but said it would not accept a "rotten deal" for its fishing industry, a key sector of the island nation's troubled economy.
Iceland's parliament voted last week to seek EU membership as a way to stabilize the country's economy, which was one of the first causalities of the global recession after years of strong growth.

"Worries about the economy" during recessions are key reasons why Finland and Sweden got stampeded into the EU in 1995. Now, as I document in my Henrik Holappa archive, Finland is suffering from serious racial problems as a consequence. Alien control of key corporations, national media, and other strategic bases of Finnish society is another big problem.
The good news for Iceland, according to Birgitta Jonsdottir in her Alex Jones interview, is that the EU application process can be held up several years and therefore may not go through.

 

How does one create greater accountability
in business and government?

 

. "Iceland Is Burning -- Day 2 by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, Jan 21, 2009, describes the lack of transparency which fueled the "pots and pans" revolution. This forced elections that replaced Prime Minister Geir Haarde with a new female Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir.

The current political leaders are deeply invested in the status quo and are unlikely to come out of any open and honest investigation with any credibility, so it remains to be seen how far the party's rank and file can go before they meet resistance. The leaders' audacity in the face of the utter failure of their policies would indicate that their powers of introspection and rational thought are on the wane.

 


I'm Sorry You're So Stupid:" Head of Iceland's Central Bank Refuses to Step Down by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, 11 Feb 2009. Caption: "The political firestorm surrounding the economic collapse has provided creative fodder for Icelandic artists."

Moral Hazard in Iceland by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, February 10, 2010 explains how Iceland's central bank played a key role in fueling reckless financial expansionism.

Iceland's Central Bank created moral hazard by implicitly promising to act as the lender of last resort for the banks as they expanded to about ten times the size of the entire domestic economy. To minimize the danger of excessive risk-taking the Central Bank should have closely regulated and supervised the banks, but it was singularly incapable of doing so.

After the populist revolt of early 2009 elected Johanna Sigurdardottir as the new Prime Minister, she asked David Oddsson to resign as head of the central bank. He refused.
This raises important questions. As previously discussed, a central bank is a form of financial central planning, the exact opposite to genuine "libertarian" approaches. Let us imagine for the sake of argument that Oddsson is genuinely patriotic and well-intentioned individual, although perhaps misinformed and misguided in certain areas. Let us then ask what Oddsson had accomplished as a financial "central planner" during Iceland's go-go years from 2005-2009 that now qualified him as an irreplaceable leader? What reforms had he accomplished to vindicate himself? Who had he already blocked among Zionist "infiltrators" that would suggest that he is serious about blocking increased Zionist influence in the future?
If Oddsson was not actively involved in thwarting malefactors like George Soros, Goldman Sachs, the Rothschilds, and Mossad-CIA to defend the Icelandic national interest, what other public justification could he possibly offer for staying in such a sensitive position?
I'm Sorry You're So Stupid:" Head of Iceland's Central Bank Refuses to Step Down by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, 11 Feb 2009, probed Oddsson's behavior further:

Iceland's interim Prime Minister, Johanna Sigurdardottir, has asked the members of the Central Bank to submit their resignations so that that institution can be overhauled in a way that will inspire trust in foreign investors.
Although one of the three governors complied with this request, David Oddsson and Eirikur Gudnason have refused, with David sending a letter excoriating Johanna for her impertinence.
A more humble man would perhaps have recalled De Gaulle's remark, that the cemeteries are filled with essential men, and left the matter to others. Unfortunately, however, in David's eyes this crisis is all about him and his legacy. Like a certain recent American president, he appears to see the admission of fault as an unforgivable weakness. The only apology he seems capable of giving is of the "I'm sorry you're so stupid" sort.
David does make one valid point. The Central Bank was created to serve as an independent body that would safeguard the nation's finances from political influence. To bow to Johanna's request would signal that the Central Bank is nothing but another governmental agency subject to the whims of the electorate.
It is obvious, though, that the political independence of the Central Bank was nothing more than an illusion. David had no training in finance; he was the country's consummate politician, and he has retained his position of dominance within the Independence Party since he joined the Central Bank in 2005. By contrast, the first criteria for governorship of the proposed new Central Bank would be a master's degree in finance.
David also fails to recognize that the Central Bank under his leadership has utterly failed in its primary missions of maintaining the krona's integrity and keeping inflation under control. He failed to build up adequate reserves of foreign currency to back the commercial banks' overseas expansion. The krona has lost half of its value in the past year, and is not in free-fall only because the IMF has used billions of dollars to support it. Inflation reached a record high of 18.6% in January.
According to the Financial Times, this dispute is further damaging Iceland's standing in the eyes of foreign investors, and may endanger the IMF's plans for saving Iceland's economy.
Surrendering gracefully is, no doubt, an art form. History is full of examples of leaders who made proper, timely retreats, and thereby paved the road for their eventual return. Disrespecting the office of the Prime Minister will not gain David the respect of the Icelandic people. Rather, it will only make it harder for the government selected in the forthcoming elections to rule. If the leader of the Independence Party refuses to obey a government formed of the country's other political parties, why would the leaders of those parties submit to a government led by the Independence Party?
To acknowledge that the office is greater than the individual, that the nation is more important than the political party, is essential to the proper functioning of a liberal democracy.
The protesters who brought down Geir Haarde's coalition no longer believe that Iceland's leaders believe in the rule of law. They see a very small group reaping vast rewards, while placing the country's economic security in grave danger. They wonder why no one has faced criminal prosecution for widely-rumored financial crimes, why bank officials who took out loans to buy bank stock have had their obligations forgiven, why the government officials who failed to control the banks remain in office.
Today, those protesters have brought their pots and pans to the Central Bank to try to remedy this situation. Although David's letter to Johanna exhibited more Mugabe than Churchill, let's hope he reconsiders and decides to act in his country's best interest.
Elections are scheduled for April. If he wants redemption, let him take his case to the people. His siege mentality only debases him and places our economy at risk.

Iceland Elections: The Revolution Is In (The House) by Iris Erlingsdottir, 26 April, 2009 explains how "special privilege" has also involved secret accounts:

The ongoing investigation of the banks, which is widely expected to implicate many politicians, will also take much of the Alþingi's time, with a parliamentary report expected by the end of the year. There are reports of thousands of secret bank accounts in Tortola and elsewhere containing funds looted from the banks in the days immediately preceding their collapse. Any prosecutions or attempts to claw back those funds will surely prove to be contentious.

Europe's Biggest Financial Swindle Since World War II by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, 16 June 2009, describes how honest investigation was slow in coming without public pressure:

...It took months to establish the office of the Special Prosecutor which has been starved of funds from the beginning; the banks and their boards are still littered with incompetents who oversaw the old swindle mills. How clueless Icelandic politicians are was especially evident during this spring's election campaign. I'll never forget watching the largest televised debate before the election, where nary a single word was uttered about the collapse or the investigation, but candidates bickered about what quick-fix would save the country - more aluminum plants, EU membership.
...Eva Joly...The famous Franco-Norwegian economic crimefighter hired to help the Icelandic government recuperate the funds stolen by insiders when Iceland's economy melted late last year, has just given an ultimatum to the newly-elected center-left government: remove the disqualified State Prosecutor (whose son is involved with one of the banks under investigation) and give me the resources to do my job properly, or I walk.
Iceland's self-styled tycoons have parked their money in foreign bank accounts, just waiting for the market to bottom-out. Then they'll swoop in, buy up all the over-mortgaged properties from the nouveaux pauvres, and strut like princes again. This pesky investigation outrages them. How dare she try to take away "our" money! "She's obviously biased against us," they say, "and is only using the investigation to further her cult of personality and leftist political goals.
...The mayor of one of Reykjavik's suburbs just can't understand why he should resign for giving lucrative contracts over to his daughter's firm. The former CEO of one of the failed banks sees nothing wrong in granting himself a very substantial loan with suspicious terms, to say the least, in order to lower his taxes (the loan is now being investigated) . The State Prosecutor can't see why he should resign just because his son was the CEO of one of the bank's main shareholder. The head of one of the "new" government-owned banks announces that he can't see any legal reason to try to reverse the "old" bank's decision to forgive loans its officers and directors took out to purchase bank shares in a fraudulent attempt to manipulate its stock price. The head of the conservative Independence Party raised the price of gasoline at the stations he owned because of new government taxes--long before the taxes were scheduled to take effect.

 


From 2010-03-19 The Banks' Bonus Culture: "Have you left no sense of decency?"by Iris Erlingsdottir. Caption: "Political cartoonist Halldór Baldursson's take on the Icelandic banks reflects the general public sentiment: Nothing has changed; the banks are plagued with corruption and insider deals, and little relief is available for the ordinary taxpayer who is stuck with the bill for bankers' incompetence and corruption." Halldór Baldursson© www.mbl.is

In her interview with Alex Jones, Birgitta Jonsdottir observed that Icelandic law generally prevents debtors from walking away from defaults on cars and homes, but rather they tend to be stuck with debt for life. U.S. bankruptcy law is much more liberal in this regard in regard to the common man. However, for Icelandic bankers, the story is different.
Fury in Iceland as Disgraced Banking Moguls Request Loan Write-off by Alda Sigmundsdottir, Huffington Post, 15 July 2009, explains how some are more equal than others when it comes to handling crushing debt:

The Icelandic nation reeled with indignation and fury last week when news broke that two of its disgraced banking moguls had requested that about half of an ISK 6 billion [USD 47 million] loan be written off by now-nationalized bank Kaupthing.

Know the right people in Iceland, and you will not have to pay! by Halldor Sigurdsson, 9 March 2010 provides another example of suspected high level self-dealing.

Finnur Ingólfsson, former member of parliament, Minister, and CEO of the Icelandic central bank a few years ago, got on one of his companies, a debt of 3.5 Billion krona written off. Another one, Mr. Bjarni Ármansson, former CEO of Glitnir bank, got 800 million debt written off and when asked about the debt, he said, " it would be irresponsible use of my money to pay the debt " So it does matter if you are connected to the people in power.

Iceland's Pyrrhic Victory by Iris Erlingsdottir, Huffington Post, 18 March 2010, explains how little had changed nine months later:

Not one banker has been sent to jail or forced to regurgitate any ill-gotten gains. Not one regulator has been fired. The politicians who oversaw (and profited from) the bank deregulation remain in power and, if anything, they and their buddies are in a better position than ever.

 


Forward to Part 2, Act 6


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