The world has gone topsy turfy up here in the North Atlantic.
The latest news is, that our own Prime Minister might have sabotaged the possible Norwegian loan, which would have freed us from the grips of the IMF.
She herself has apparently written an e-mail to the Norwegian Prime Minister asking him to stop off his coalition partner, who had offered the loan.
Our Prime Minister denies to have done so, but somebody seems to have read the e-mail and now it´s all over the news.(At the moment everybody seems to be spying on everybody else, reading each others e-mails. The editors of the largest newspaper reading the e-mails of their journalists for instance, to find the “leaks”)
A banana republic is nothing against us.
And we still have no ideas what body-snatchers have taken over our government members, who once used to be decent and respected people.
Our Prime Minister used to be the most respected politician in the country, well liked far beyond the voters of her own party, and the Minister of Finances used to be a far left-leaning politician opposed to any EU membership, extremely critical of the IMF and, of course, opposed to the Ice-save indebtedness.
What has happened?
Have they lost their minds?
The Minister has lost his own party, that´s for sure. They just voted Ögmundur, who was booted out of the government for his opposition to the surrendering to Britain in the Ice-save matter, straight back in.
What´ll happen next?
My suggestion is, we should build a few more green-houses and export the bananas from our former republic, maybe it´ll give us enough to pay for Ice-save and for the dictator who´ll surely will be installed pretty soon.
Will there be another pot and pan revolution?
To be sure most Icelanders are no fervent revolutionaries. They want lives which follow their ordinary routines.
Since the beginning of 2008, because of the fall of the Icelandic currency, prizes as well as mortgage and other debt-payments for families and companies have more than doubled, while wages have barely increased, and profits for most domestic companies have fallen.
But still most people are paying their personal or their companies debts, grudgingly maybe, and often with hard efforts, but still, they pay. At first debt-payments were prolonged to about kingdom come.
The government put a stop to that. Now they can only be prolonged to an extra 3 years. They also can no longer be indefinitely increased but must stay at the same level as they were at the time of the banking bust. (Of course, the Kronur had by then already lost half of it´s value to the Euro or the Dollar, and the mortgages and other debts partly denominated in foreign currency had already sky-rocketed before the bust.)
These measures by the government and the now once again publicly owned banks make the debts payable for most everybody.
There have not happened any mass-foreclosures. People stay in their homes, and that´s a high priority for the government. For believe me, homelessness isn´t an option in our climate.
The problem isn´t the temperature. It´s the storms and rains alternating with freeze, which would turn you into a popsicle after a short time, if you would stay out long enough.
I tried it one night last winter for a political protest. Even well-dressed after a couple of hours of storm and rain I was wet to the skin, sleeping-bag and all. Then it started snowing, and then came the freeze over. I´d say survival chances after more than a night become close to zero, at least for ordinary people.
People here are angry at the bankers, but also angry at their own stupidity to have taken on those debts and angry at what is here called a “culture of greed” during the last few years in the country.
People pay the debts they believe to be their own debts, be they foreign or domestic, no matter how difficult it gets.
However the Ice-save debts are another matter altogether. They are not our debts people say here. “We are not paying the debts of crooks and banksters, (especially, if they are not even our own crooks).”
The man, who was mainly in charge of the British part of Landsbanki, and the one who was the initiator of the Ice-save internet-bank, which has become this huge problem for our country is a British citizen by the name of Mark Sismey-Durrant.
Sismey-Durrant started his career on a fast track with the Midland Bank from the HSBC group.
The HSBC group is one of the largest investman banks in the world. The HSBC, the Hongkong-Shanghai-Banking-Corporation, started out as the bank, which financed the and profited from British Opium trade to China.
This trade had a devastating effect on the Chinese population. And when the government of the Chinese Emperor tried to stop it, the British declared war on China to force their opium down the Chinese throats.
Well that was a long time ago, more recently it was the HSBC people who “advised” the Icelandic government in the privatization of the Icelandic banks including Landsbanki.
-Framkvæmdanefnd um einkavæðingu sá um söluna fyrir hönd ríkisins og enski bankinn HSBC var aðalráðgjafi nefndarinnar- (A privatization committee worked on the sales on behalf of the Icelandic state and the English bank HSBC was the main advisor of the committee).
After Sismey Durrant´s “fast-track” career at the HSBC group, he then became “spearhead” of the Confederation bank. And soon thereafter the bank’s parent company, Confederation of Life, went into liquidation.
Then he became managing director of the British Heritable Bank, which was bought by Landsbanki, and subsequently the managing director of Landsbanki´s other British investment Ice-save.
And soon enough the parent company… well, you know.
While Sismey Durrant was working for the Icelandic bank Landsbanki, he was (and according to their website still is) also an active member of “The Worshipful Company of International Bankers”, which is the British bankers´guild association (“Incorporated by Royal Charter”).
Nowadays the “Worshipful Company” claims to be a charity.
However, in the outfit, were he was active in the charity and education committee, Sismey-Durrant was rubbing shoulders with Britain´s most prominent banking elite (there is barely a non-British sounding name among those members mentioned on their website).
These bankers, to whose “most worshipful company” Mark Sismey Durrant still belongs stood in direct competition to the Icelandic Landsbanki, and they would have profited enormously from the bankruptcy, if the Icelandic government hadn´t re-nationalized the banks at the last minute, and split the Icelandic part off from the foreign part.
Now talk about conflict of interests.
Icelandic bankers and businessmen in the last months before the crash, after the currency had been attacked by foreign speculators, had committed all kinds of financial crimes to try balance the books. And in the end, some had tried to just take some money and run.
Icelanders blame themselves for having not payed enough attention to the matter. And they accept the consequences of lost life-savings and sky-high debts.
But they draw a line at the Ice-save matter.
And if Icelanders have to collectively take responsibility for their own crooks, why should they also have to take responsibility for somebody elses´crooks?