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

Other Sources

This page contains brief summaries of and links to media reports from the source Other Sources.

As Iceland resists paying our billions, let’s not forget just who is to blame

Icelandic bankers and British ‘rate tarts’ caused the Icesave folly, yet the two nations’ taxpayers will be footing the bill.

Iceland was a nation that took huge pride in the fact its government used to owe nothing. The phrases “net debt-free” and “debtless” would pepper the briefings of its senior financial officials before the crisis. But then came the crazed ingenuity of Iceland’s bankers in funding themselves through thrifty British and Dutch internet savers, rather than sophisticated international financiers. And so from the likes of Icesave arose a giant Icedebt. . .

The path to this point was novel but predictable. The causes of the crisis have lessons that should be heeded well beyond this northern Atlantic rock. Business and Marketing News, Funds, Finance and Stock Market website - 18-Feb-10.


Icesave talks to start in London on Monday -sources

Iceland will meet Britain and the Netherlands in London on Monday to present a new proposal for repaying more than $5 billion (3.2 billion pounds) lost in Icelandic bank accounts, sources familiar with the plans said. . .

A Icelandic government source has said the new proposal involves quicker repayment of the country's debt from a sale of the assets of failed bank Landsbanki.

A spokesman at Iceland's finance ministry said the government hoped to present the new proposal "very soon."

One creditor nation source said he "could not rule out" that the talks would stretch more than one day.

The source also said the talks were not likely to be at the highest levels, particularly as European Union finance ministers are meeting early this week to focus on the public debt crisis in Greece.  IBTimes website - 15-Feb-10.

Landsbanki Guernsey depositors told their claims 'rejected'

Landsbanki Guernsey depositors around the world have begun to receive a message from the Winding-Up Board of the bank’s Icelandic parent saying that it has “decided to reject” their claims for compensation on the grounds that “it has not been sufficiently shown” that the parent entity had ever agreed to guarantee its Guernsey arm's liabilities.

News of the rejection of the depositors’ claims for compensation was disclosed to International Adviser today in an email from Landsbanki Guernsey depositor Mark Ashbey, a member of the Landsbanki Guernsey Depositors’ Action Group (LGDAG).

Another member of the group, Matthew Dorman, said both his organisation and the joint administrators, Deloitte, “had been expecting this” and would be submitting objections to the decision to the Winding-Up Board. They will also continue to pursue their legal actions against Landsbanki Iceland and the Icelandic government, he added.

Spokespersons for Deloitte could not immediately be reached.

Around 1,600 depositors, more than 90% of them British, had some £120m on deposit in the Guernsey branch of Landsbanki when it collapsed in October 2008. At the time, Guernsey did not have a depositors’ compensation scheme in force. So far the Guernsey depositors have received about 67.5p in the pound, unlike Landsbanki depositors in the UK and Netherlands, who received 100% of their money months ago.  International Adviser website - 14-Feb-10.

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.

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.


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.

Grimsson Says Iceland Will Be Unscathed by Icesave (Update1)

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Iceland’s President Olafur R. Grimsson said the island’s economy will emerge unscathed by his decision to put to a referendum a U.K. and Dutch depositor bill that polls show voters will reject.

“Nothing very serious will happen to the economy because then we will go back to the agreement which was made last summer between these two countries,” Grimsson said in an interview in New Delhi today, where he is being awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding.  Business Week website - 14-Jan-10.

Iceland says IMF aid likely delayed

Niklas Pollard, Reykjavik - Reuters:

Iceland's economy minister said on Wednesday there were signs an IMF-led aid package would be delayed after a hitch in a deal to repay Britain and the Netherlands money lost in the island's banking collapse.

Economy Minister Gylfi Magnusson said the centre-left government was “very far” from a solution which could lead to a new repayment deal and allow the government to cancel a planned referendum in Iceland on the issue.

“Obviously the Icelandic government is trying everything it can to prevent a delay (to the IMF program), but I think the odds are against us,” Mr. Magnusson said in a Reuters interview, pointing to delays last year due to the drawn-out dispute. . .

An agreement with the two European Union countries is seen as key for the continued flow of aid to Iceland to underpin an economic recovery from a deep recession after its main banks all collapsed in the space of a week in 2008. Toronto Globe and Mail website - 12-Jan-10.


Iceland Blocks Bank Compensation for Foreigners

The president of Iceland blocked a hard fought $5 billion compensation deal with the British and Dutch governments on Tuesday, upending the precarious finances and politics of the island nation and further jeopardizing already frayed ties with Europe and international lenders. . .

The savings of Icelandic citizens were protected by an unlimited domestic deposit guarantee.

In a statement, the British treasury — which along with its Dutch counterpart pushed Iceland to amend a previous bill, making it tougher on Iceland — said that the “government expects Iceland to live up to its obligations.” . . .

“By pushing so hard, the British and the Dutch might push Iceland into bankruptcy and get no money back at all,” said Jon Danielsson, an expert on the Icelandic economy at the London School of Economics.  Deal Books blog in The New York Times - 05-Jan-10.

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