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.