Icelandic Parliament: Big Icelandic Banks Were Public Banks … Which Were Privatized FOR FREE Shortly Before They Tanked

Iceland’s Looting Analogous to America’s … Can U.S. Follow their Successful Turnaround?

Birgitta Jonsdottir is a member of the Icelandic parliament. She knows a good deal about the financial crisis.  Indeed, before being elected to parliament, she made a documentary about the collapse of Iceland’s economy as an investigative journalist.

Last night, Jonsdottir (pronounced “yont-Daughter”) disclosed a stunning fact in a speech I attended:

All our banks were actually public.  They were privatized a few years prior to the financial crisis.

Jonsdottir explained that Iceland’s banks grew to 5-7 times the size of the country’s GDP during the county’s brief bubble after privatization.

And the Icelandic parliament – in a fact-finding report – later found that the bankers never paid anything to “buy” the banks from the government or the people.   In other words, sweetheart deals and corruption meant that a handful of people looted the banks without paying a penny.

America is analogous.  The prosperity which our ancestors worked so hard to build – and the very vision of prosperity of the Founding Fathers – has been looted.

Jonsdottir says that it wasn’t just the bankers who were corrupt … it was also the Icelandic politicians, media, academia … all of the people in a position of power.

She points out that – as bad as things are in America – they were as bad in Iceland.  And yet they took the bulls by the horn and turned things around.

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  • amerikagulag

    Iceland, with a population of 320,000 and bankSters numbering in the hundreds. The US with population of 250,000,000 and bankSters numbering in the millions, also home to the ‘FED’ – that crime syndicate of world financial terrorism. Somehow I don’t think the task is equal. I wish it could happen, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • DB from NY

      Ellen Brown’s public banking crusade has its heart in the right place. However, it can’t be done at the state level from the start. Start with muni/county, and IF (I place this in caps because I still see there being the potential for absurd levels of corruption in such entities) they are successful, you’ll build the foundation for a movement at the state level.

      For all the talk of BND being held as such a shining example, I think it’s a bit specious to do so, because North Dakota is in the midst of spectacular oil boom thanks to Bakken. However, you get a few smaller metros like a Rochester NY or a Youngstown OH to set it up & then realize success, you begin to demonstrate credibility for public banking as it would succeed in areas that have been in economic decline thanks to the hollowing out of our manufacturing base.

      I wanted to go to the PBI conference in Cali, and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t. I see potential, and have a ton of respect for Dr. Brown & the work she’s done to promote it.

  • Rogoraeck

    One thing Iceland forgot is, to arrest all the Bankers.
    Give them a FAIR TRIAL
    & then hang them!