30-Mar-2016: Liquidators' Update, see Deloitte site

Iceland News

This page contains brief summaries of and links to media reports on the topic of Iceland News.

Who lied?

There is much talk in the Icelandic media these days over remarks made last week by two high ranking Dutch officials during a hearing by an investigative committee. One is the head of the Dutch National Bank [their central bank], and the other an official with the Dutch Financial Supervisory Authority. . . .

Evidently few people in Iceland seem to doubt that their claims are true. However, there has been much speculation over just who lied. Initially, it was to have been the head of the Central Bank here in Iceland [presumably Davíð Oddsson], then there were reports that it had been the heads of the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority. No one seems to know exactly who was responsible for conveying the misleading information.

Predictably, Oddsson went on the offensive trying to convince everyone that it wasn’t him – hauling out the old chestnut about how he tried to warn everyone in government about what was imminent months before the  collapse but nobody listened. Unfortunately, as pointed out in a Fréttablaðið editorial a couple of days ago, there is no documented evidence that Oddsson’s claims are true.  Iceland Weather Report website - 08-Feb-10.

Icesave marketing mastermind takes place in parliament

Teitur Atlason, hands down one of Iceland’s best bloggers [who actually writes from Sweden] calls attention to an interesting development on his blog: a young, up-and-coming politician named Erla Ósk Ásgeirsdóttir is taking a seat in parliament today on behalf of the Independence Party.

One of Erla Ósk’s greatest career accomplishments is to have planned the wildly successful marketing campaign behind the Icesave accounts when she was employed by Landsbanki.

Teitur writes:

In other words, holding a seat in parliament is a woman with first-hand knowledge of how those criminal bank accounts were marketed. A woman who is, in part, responsible for the greatest disgrace that Icelanders have seen and experienced on their own skins. Iceland Weather Report website - 02-Feb-10.

Dutch Central Banker: Icelanders Lied about Icesave

Arnold Schilder, former head of the inner supervision of the Dutch Central Bank said the Icelandic Central Bank had lied about the situation of Landsbanki’s Icesave savings scheme up until the banking collapse of October 2008 during a parliamentary inquest into the global credit crisis in the Netherlands yesterday.

“I have to say that our Icelandic colleagues were not telling us the truth. We often asked them straight out how it was going and they always answered with Hallelujah stories, that nothing was wrong. Not even in August and September 2008,” Schilder told the parliamentary committee, RÚV reports.

Schilder said Nout Wellink, the president of the Central Bank of the Netherlands, had also received similar answers.

Wellink was also called before the parliamentary committee yesterday to discuss other aspects of the crisis. On Thursday he will answer the committee’s questions about Icesave. That day, Dutch Minister of Finance Wouter Bos will also be called before the committee.  02-Feb-10.

Icesave dispute focus of Europe meeting

THE HAGUE, Netherlands, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Finance ministers from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Iceland met in The Hague Friday to discuss the Icesave savings account dispute, an official says.

Einar Haraldsson, spokesman for Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Siguroardottir, confirmed Icelandic finance chief Steingrimur Sigfusson was in the Netherlands to meet informally with the country's finance minister, Wouter Bos, and British Finance Minister Paul Myners, the EUobserver reported. 29-Jan-10.

Iceland defends right to vote on Icesave redress

The President of Iceland said yesterday that his country would press ahead with a referendum on whether or not to pay the British and Dutch governments compensation for losses they incurred during his country's financial crisis.

Ólafur Grimsson spoke as Icelandic officials met the City minister, Lord Myners, and his Dutch counterpart to discuss the $5.7bn (£3.5bn) the island nation owes for money that Britain and the Netherlands used to compensate their depositors in Icesave, the internet bank that collapsed with its parent Landsbanki in October 2008.

Mr Grimsson said: "For an entire nation to vote on to what extent they are willing to shoulder this burden is to me a pinnacle of democracy." Opinion polls suggest that on 9 March Icelanders will vote against a Bill authorising repayments. 30-Jan-10.

Icesave talks end with no signs of progress on row

THE HAGUE/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Leaders from across Iceland's political spectrum met Dutch and British ministers on Friday over more than $5 billion in "Icesave" bad bank debts, but the talks ended with no signs of progress.

The Dutch and Icelandic finance ministries said that "parties exchanged views" at The Hague talks on the dispute surrounding losses on online accounts at Icelandic banks which collapsed in late 2008.

"The sides will now consider the situation after this meeting, but at this stage no further discussions are scheduled," the ministries said in separate statements. 30-Jan-10. . .

The official Landsbanki whitewash

After looking more at this interesting document called: Report on moratorium and other issues concerning Landsbanki Íslands hf. One chapter caught my attention more than others. Page 9 and 10 in the document is the explanation of the banking crisis and economic crisis in Iceland. . .

This [the report] is correct up to a point. They stretch the explanation far by blaming the whole collapse in Iceland and of the banks on the international credit liquidity crisis or the credit crunch that went in free fall with the Lehman Brothers collapse.

To say that this was the only reason is not only simplistic, but misleading as well. What about all the money leaving all the banks? What about all the loans and financial acrobatics to owners, offshore companies and strange business partners? What about all the investments abroad and in Iceland in companies and individuals without collateral?

To answer this so people understand: It is insane for the resolution committee to actually blame the whole system failure in Iceland on the international credit crunch. Independent Icelandic News website 30-Jan-10.


Iceland Meets With U.K., Dutch to Fix Icesave Turmoil (Update1)

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Iceland is meeting with the U.K. and Netherlands today to try to restore relations after President Olafur R. Grimsson blocked a bill that had set out to compensate the two countries for depositor losses.

Iceland’s Finance Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson will meet with his Dutch counterpart Wouter Bos and U.K. Treasury Minister Paul Myners to “exchange information and discuss the status” of the so-called Icesave accord, according to an e-mailed statement from the office of Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir today.

“The meeting isn’t defined as negotiations,” Einar Karl Haraldsson, Sigurdardottir’s spokesman, said in a telephone interview. “I wouldn’t hold my breath over this meeting.”29-Jan-10.

UPDATE 1-Dutch FinMin: No point in Icesave mediator

THE HAGUE, Jan 28 (Reuters) - The Netherlands sees no point in appointing a mediator to solve its dispute with Iceland over compensation for the failure of Iceland's banking system during the credit crisis, the Dutch finance minister said on Thursday. . .

Opinion polls show a strong chance the referendum will fail, which has led the Icelandic government to suggest it would like some sort of renegotiation or mediation to solve the crisis. 28-Jan-10.


Landsbanki. Bad management or personal gain?

The newly restored Landsbanki is full of secrets. For a government bank it should seem incredible that the information flow is blocked by the bank director Ásmundur Stefánsson and the solvency committees of the fallen bank (Old Landsbanki).

There are two main things that have been surfacing recently. First is the massive 30 billion ISK loan to The Icelandic Group AFTER the economic collapse. The Icelandic Group is the golden calf of the Icelandic fishing industry. The company has exported fish for decades and should by all normal business standards make insane amounts of profit.  The company on the other hand has fallen into the hands of the greedy and stupid. The goldmine has turned sour by the owners’ investments that can be considered as “insane”.  Independent Icelandic News website - 18-Jan-10.

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