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Old 01-23-2012, 01:38 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Iceland took the road less traveled

Originally Posted by Robert Frost :
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
12/2/2010:
Originally Posted by Bloomberg :
Iceland is betting its decision two years ago to force bondholders to pay for the banking system’s collapse may help it rebound faster than Ireland.

Iceland’s taxpayers face a smaller debt burden than their Irish counterparts, where the government’s guarantee of the financial system in 2008 backfired this year when the banks came close to insolvency. Iceland’s budget deficit will be 6.3 percent of gross domestic product this year and will vanish by 2012, compared with the 32 percent shortfall in Ireland, the European Commission estimates.

While analysts expect Iceland’s recession to extend into next year, the nation’s exporters are benefiting from a 28 percent drop in the krona against the dollar since September 2008. The decline may help the nation of 320,000 people rebalance its economy faster than Ireland, whose euro membership rules out a currency devaluation. With Iceland’s OMX share index up 17 percent this year, the third-biggest gain in Europe after Denmark and Sweden, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman says Iceland may be an example of “bankrupting yourself to recovery.”

“The difference is that in Iceland we allowed the banks to fail,” Iceland President Olafur R. Grimsson said in a Nov. 26 interview with Bloomberg Television’s Mark Barton. “These were private banks and we didn’t pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state did not shoulder the responsibility of the failed private banks.”

‘Burning’ Question

The island’s bank debt remains with the failed lenders, whose creditors have yet to recoup $85 billion. Deciding who should bear the cost of banking failures is becoming a “burning” question in Europe, Grimsson said.
...
12/8/2010:
Originally Posted by The Telegraph :
Iceland has finally emerged from deep recession after allowing its currency to plunge and washing its hands of private bank debt, prompting an intense the debate over whether Ireland might suffer less damage if adopted the same strategy.

The Nordic economy grew at 1.2pc in the third quarter and looks poised to rebound next year. It ends a gruelling slump caused largely by the "New Viking" antics of Landsbanki, Glitnir and Kaupthing, the trio of lenders that brought down Iceland's financial system in September 2008.

The economies of the two "over-banked" countries have both contracted by around 11pc of GDP, but Iceland has achieved it with inflation that devalues debt, while Ireland has done it under an EMU deflation regime that raises the burden of debt.

This has led to vastly different debt dynamics as they enter Year III of the drama. Iceland's budget deficit will be 6.3pc this year, and soon in surplus: Ireland's will be 12pc (32pc with bank bail-outs) and not much better next year.

The pain has been distributed very differently. Irish unemployment has reached 14.1pc, and is still rising. Iceland's peaked at 9.7pc and has since fallen to 7.3pc.

The International Monetary Fund said Iceland has turned the corner, praising Reykjavik for safeguarding its "valued Nordic social welfare model".

"In the event, the recession has proved shallower than expected, and Iceland’s growth decline of about minus 7pc in 2009 compares favorably against other countries hard hit by the crisis," said Mark Flanigan, the IMF's mission chief for the country.

Total debt will peak at 115pc, before dropping to 80pc by 2015 in what the IMF called "robust debt dynamics". Meanwhile. Ireland's debt will continue rising for another three years to 120pc of GDP. The contrast will be very stark by the middle of the decade. Iceland may have a lower sovereign debt than Germany by then.

Iceland's president, Olafur Grimsson, irritated EU officials last month when he said his country was recovering faster because it had refused to bail out creditors – mostly foreigners.

"The difference is that in Iceland we allowed the banks to fail. These were private banks and we didn't pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state should not shoulder the responsibility," he said.

The comments came just as the EU authorities were ruling out investor "haircuts" in Ireland, making this a condition for the country's €85bn (£72bn) loan package.
...
6/26/2011:
Originally Posted by Bloomberg :
Iceland’s economic recovery is “on track” and the island’s main target should now be removing krona controls, the International Monetary Fund said.
...
Iceland’s economy will grow 2.3 percent this year after contracting 3.5 percent in 2010, the Fund said.
7/6/2011:
Originally Posted by Bloomberg :
The credit rating companies that were too slow in predicting Iceland’s economic collapse in 2008 may be underestimating the strength of its resurrection.

Fitch Ratings said in May it may take two years for the island to shed its junk status, while Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s give Iceland their lowest investment grades. That hasn’t deterred investors from trying to buy twice the amount offered in last month’s $1 billion bond sale as the island returned to global capital markets less than three years after its banks defaulted on $85 billion in debt.

“When you look at how successful that auction was, it’s clear that investors are now crunching the numbers themselves and that the credit grades from the rating agencies are less relevant,” Valdimar Armann, an economist at Reykjavik-based asset manager Gamma, said in a July 4 interview.
...
Aug 2011:
Originally Posted by Le Monde diplomatique :
The people of Iceland have now twice voted not to repay international debts incurred by banks, and bankers, for which the whole island is being held responsible. With the present turmoil in European capitals, could this be the way forward for other economies?
...
^^ long and worth clicking the link to read

8/25/2011:
Originally Posted by Bella Caledonia :
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:
...
^^ shorter, but also worth clicking to read

Nov 2011:
Originally Posted by Reason :
... The crisis ended almost as quickly as it had begun. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development expects Iceland’s economy to grow by 2 percent this year and next. That’s not enough to replace the post-2007 loss, but it’s more than enough to return to the pre-boom trend line, and it’s much stronger than the performance of Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece, and Spain, affectionately know as the PIIGS economies. Iceland’s long-term interest rate, a not-inconsiderable 8 percent, compares well with a rate of over 13 percent for Greece, which is astounding when you consider that Iceland endured a default that Greece, in name at least, has so far avoided. The difference in unemployment—5.8 percent for Iceland against 16 percent for Greece—is even more striking. Iceland expects to have a balanced budget in 2013.

Paul Krugman naturally draws the wrong conclusion, contending that Iceland saved itself through rapid inflation and capital controls. This is like saying the March tsunami gave the people of Tohoku a nice chance to go swimming: Iceland’s central bank tried desperately to control the króna’s collapse before giving up. Nevertheless, Erlingsdottir is right: The “grownups”—a center-left coalition led by Social Democrat Johanna Sigurdardottir—are back in charge and have done their best to double down on the bad policies of the past, including reducing fish quotas when local fishermen most need to be producing and selling. The government is also, in the face of strong popular opposition, moving toward E.U. membership, which has worked out so beautifully for other troubled European economies.

So what’s causing the recovery? The plain-sight answer is the one nobody will consider. Iceland is coming back specifically because its banks went out of business. That happened in spite of strenuous public efforts, but the removal of the tiny nation’s colossally bloated financial sector turns out not to have eliminated all that much value.

It bears repeating that banks are not creators of wealth. They are places where you store the surplus value generated by productive enterprise. In very narrow circumstances that surplus value can be loaned out at a profit, but a financial sector is the icing, not the cake. This should be common sense, but apparently it is wisdom so rare it can only be learned in countries small and remote enough to avoid the deadly medicine of the global financial markets.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:53 PM   #2
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Iceland gives me hope for the future of human beings. Great article. By the way, you may have missed this move by Iceland about a month ago:

Iceland has become the first western european country to recognise Palestine as an independent state.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...estinian-state

In addition, they have passed internet laws to make Iceland a "New Media Haven".

http://www.countercurrents.org/assange170610.htm

Go Iceland!

Unfortunately, getting residency in Iceland isn't so easy.......oh well....
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Old 01-23-2012, 02:52 PM   #3
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What Island Dweller said.......

In addition, Iceland is healing significantly quicker than.....say.......Greece is going to heal. Greece should have poked the IMF in the eye with a sharp stick and sent them packing. Instead, they sold the souls of their children to the very same bankster scumbags that got them in to the mess they are in.
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:04 PM   #4
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Too bad it's so cold in Iceland... ICEland!

Otherwise that internet freedom / New Media Haven law would make that country attractive.

Re defaults, I am going to guess that he defaults FIRST, defaults best!
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by DoChenRollingBearing View Post:
Too bad it's so cold in Iceland... ICEland!

Otherwise that internet freedom / New Media Haven law would make that country attractive.

Re defaults, I am going to guess that he defaults FIRST, defaults best!
I'm considering buying a cheap shtf retreat there.

Anyway: The part of the Iceland story I don't like are the IMF loans...
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Old 01-23-2012, 08:09 PM   #6
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Ive been a huge supporter of the Icelandic people in their fight against the crooks.

I was fu**ing livid when gordon brown used TERRORIST law to seize all their assets in the UK, leaving them with NOTHING !
They were so skint they couldnt buy food or fuel to run the trawlers to catch fish and sell it to raise $

They all got together and shared what they had, as for a few weeks there WAS NO FOOD in the shops ( the didnt tell you this did they !!!)
Small community and everyone knows everyone. Awesome eh ?

In the end it was Russia and Finland (?) lent em some wonga to get things moving.
The pols tried real hard to get the people to agree to paying off the debt forever but they were so furious with the handful of banksters who shafted em, then flew out in their helis ... talk about two fingered salutes ... and the youngsters were all being forced to go off island to get paying work, so they knew it would rip the community to bits and leave the old folk with an unpayable bill.

Its bloody awesome how theyve turned things around and are once again confident of their future.
They are discussing the possibility of an undersea DC cable to sell power to northern europe using their vast geothermal resources. Talk about a bright future eh ?

And i tried to get a mate in Ireland to sell t shirts and stickers saying -

Iceland got it right, F**K the Banksters.


but by then the worldwide feds had sussed the Iceland trick and applied HUGE pressure on the Irish people, who folded and picked up the bill.

Blimey I'd forgotten how angry I was about the way we shafted Iceland

better go and have a little lie down
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Old 01-24-2012, 06:18 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by PMBug View Post:
(...)while Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s give Iceland their lowest investment grades. That hasn’t deterred investors from trying to buy twice the amount offered in last month’s $1 billion bond sale as the island returned to global capital markets
...how possible (the above)! See, it is all back like it was in the communist regimes: people just knew, "if it is on the telly, it MUST be a lie"

Back then, we've had "Radio Free Europe", that was broadcast from FREE Western countries, and was obviously being jammed and illegal to listen to. Today we have the Internet (still), that is being jammed and controlled by FREE Western...... wait a second... emmm...


Anyway, fantastic summary, PMBug! It is just funny how they pass these really FUNDAMENTAL stories as "page 27" piece, three paragraphs long, and without any reflection on it... Just enough to fed people with some scraps of information, to prevent them from thinking about, "hey, wait a second, what about that funny little country in the middle of nowhere, that went bankrupt when shite hit the fan in banking sector last time"?

I liked especially the wording of "The Guardian":
"Iceland has finally emerged from deep recession after allowing its currency to plunge and washing its hands of private bank debt, prompting an intense the debate over whether Ireland might suffer less damage if adopted the same strategy."

In bold, can you see the pattern? So many negative associations in the very first sentence, in something that is actually very positive, as a whole, if seen from the reasonable point of view only - how they call it, demagogy? . Let me translate:
  • "finally emerged" = "quicker than ANYBODY else on the planet"
  • "deep recession" = much shallower than cherished good-boy Ireland, which have had all the bailouts by IMFs & ECBs, played by the rules, has huge (and rising) unemployment, very big percentage of especially young and well-educated people emigrating, for there's no job for them here, and somehow, beware, it is STILL bankrupt, and much more so then it was three years ago - only difference - not officially.
  • "allowing currency to plunge" = not trying to fight the inevitable, being able to increase competitiviness (forgive me the spelling, if it is wrong), promote foreign investments (=cheap local labor =low unemployment, even in the crisis and contracting economy, for example), promote exports, discourage imports (oh, BTW - the exchange rates have driven McDonalds out of Iceland, at least for a while - they simply could not compete with locals...),
  • "washing its hands" = do the right thing and let the capitalist be capitalist, reap the fruits of THEIR investments, both sweet and sour, and paying for the risks THEY were comfortable with, not the Iceland's people.
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Last edited by bushi; 01-24-2012 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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1/16/2012:
Originally Posted by Washington Post :
On the snowy streets of this capital city, the economic panic of 2008 has mostly faded. The trendy cafes along Laugavegur brim with customers. Restaurant menus feature $40 grilled minke whale and $60 racks of lamb, and hardly a table goes empty. Boozy youths line up to pack nightclubs that thump all night. It’s even okay now to joke about the crash, or kreppa, as it’s known: “We may not have cash, but we have ash!” reads one T-shirt with a picture of the Eyjafjallajokull volcano that erupted in 2010.

Iceland’s journey from financial ruin to fledgling recovery is a case study in roads not taken and choices not made by other countries faced with economic calamity in recent years.

By the time the United States and Europe began to wrestle with the fallout of the global financial crisis in 2008, this tiny island nation was experiencing full-fledged meltdown. Its bloated banks failed. Its currency collapsed. The prime minister invoked God’s help, and protesters filled the streets.

Iceland did what the United States chose not to do — allow its biggest banks to fail and force foreign creditors to take a hike. It did what troubled European nations saddled with massive debts and tethered by the euro cannot do — allow its currency to remain weak, causing inflation but making its exports more desirable and its prices more attractive to tourists.

Three years later, the unemployment rate has fallen. Tourism has increased. The economy is growing. The government successfully raised money from investors in the summer for the first time since the crisis.
...
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
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Also from 1/16/2012:



http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...P_graphic.html
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Old 02-22-2012, 04:59 AM   #10
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lookie, lookie! Another "blip" mainstream piece, this time there's mention about criminal prosecutions against the top brass of Icelandic bankers (so, "do not tell us we weren't reporting on that!" ):

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...ery-story.html
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Old 02-22-2012, 07:18 AM   #11
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^:
Quote :
...
Iceland’s $13 billion economy, which shrank 6.7 percent in 2009, grew 2.9 percent last year and will expand 2.4 percent this year and next, the Paris-based OECD estimates. The euro area will grow 0.2 percent this year and the OECD area will expand 1.6 percent, according to November estimates.

Housing, measured as a subcomponent in the consumer price index, is now only about 3 percent below values in September 2008, just before the collapse. Fitch Ratings last week raised Iceland to investment grade, with a stable outlook, and said the island’s “unorthodox crisis policy response has succeeded.”
...
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Old 02-23-2012, 09:43 AM   #12
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Quote :
Fitch Ratings has upgraded Iceland's long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BBB-' from 'BB+,' the firm said Friday. The outlook is stable. The upgrade "reflects the progress that [Iceland has] made in restoring macroeconomic stability, pushing ahead with structural reform and rebuilding sovereign creditworthiness since the 2008 banking and currency crisis," said Paul Rawkins, Senior Director in Fitch's Sovereign Rating Group, in a statement. "... A promising economic recovery is underway, financial sector restructuring is well-advanced, while public debt/GDP appears to be close to peaking on the back of a robust fiscal consolidation programme" he added.
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fit...ook-2012-02-17
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #13
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I see Iceland is going to prosecute bankers:

http://www.pressenza.com/npermalink/...for-the-crisis
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:13 PM   #14
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prosecute bankers? What does that mean? Side by side, those words appear to be from an alien language.
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:06 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by PMBug View Post:
prosecute bankers? What does that mean? Side by side, those words appear to be from an alien language.
It means: "I think we're not in Kansas anymore!"
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
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We have reached a point where those who should have been prosecuted have become far too politically connected and far too wealthy to go to jail. When you can afford to hold the dogs at bay for years and years by using the courts as a proxy fighting ring, you can eventually wear them down, or as was documented in one corruption case that went on for over twelve years, you can win through attrition. The witnesses simply grow old and die, so you can no longer confront your accusers or cross-examine witnesses.

Unlike you or I, they have unlimited resources. Witness the following; The U.S. government announced that because of a contract codicil, the taxpayer will now foot the legal bills for the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae executives who are being charged. The estimated bill? over 22 million dollars. Meanwhile, these douchebags who were paid multi million payouts when they were let go, will continue to walk free.

We no longer have a justice system, we have a legal system that serves only those who can afford to pay for the very best counsel.
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Old 03-04-2012, 11:56 AM   #17
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Not only have they held the system at bay with their club status, but they're also rapidly approaching the end of a statute of limitations to any written laws that might have been broken to begin with. Scarey how laws are only immediately applied to the little people.
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:42 PM   #18
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why not let the banksters have ALL the filthy paper money ?

Problem solved.

( new knowledge gleaned from more reading at FOFOA )
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Old 03-05-2012, 06:23 PM   #19
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Everyone in Iceland has at least 42'' tires, I shit you not.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:19 PM   #20
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Should Iceland's Next Currency be Gold ? eerrrr ......... YES


http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33520.html


....... Iceland could well go the way of the loonie for now.

But as a small, independent nation, why not seize the opportunity to make your mark as a forward-thinking place?

In my view this tiny Nordic nation ought to skip the Canadian dollar altogether and go straight to gold.

Today, Iceland has the chance to truly set a standard: the gold standard.

A move like that would certainly put Iceland back on the map.
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