HOW ICELAND STALKS ITS “NEO-VIKINGS” OF FINANCE, RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CRISIS

Olafur Hauksson, special prosecutor to examine a crisis.
Olafur Hauksson, special prosecutor to examine a crisis. | DV.is

Today, a distance of his locate has changed. Since Jan 2009, he sought as well as prosecuted those who played a purpose in a country’s mercantile fall in 2008. A pass upon all sides in this nation of 320,000 inhabitants, reduction than a race of dual arrondissements.

“GOD HELP TO VIENNA IN ICELAND …”

Until a summer of 2008, nonetheless economists were loquacious in his regard of a “miracle” Icelandic. Launched during tall speed in an uncontrollable liberalization, “Iceland should be a indication for a world” in 2007 as well as claimed a idealist of a supply-side economics, Arthur Laffer, important for bend which bears his name. Privatization of a monetary sector, partnership of investment banks as well as blurb banks, deregulation of a work market: Icelandic multitude is quick apropos a breakwater for investment. Doped with poor credit, a Icelanders have been surf in Morocco afterwards deliberate a people “the happiest in a world” , as ranked by a World Database of Happiness.

But during a finish of summer 2008, a Icelandic burble bursts, a outcome of U.S. subprime crisis. Two weeks after a steep decrease of Lehman Brothers, a 3 categorical banks, whose worth represents 923% of GDP, have been collapsing. The tiny island in a center of a North Atlantic is swept by a crisis, a Icelandic krona sinks though any involvement might change a course. Oct 6, 2008, live upon inhabitant television, Prime Minister of a day finished his debate by asking God to “save Iceland” .

“REVOLUTION OF PAN”

Since which fatal day, Iceland has gifted uneasy days. In 2009, Icelanders, nonetheless fresh to amicable demonstrations, cheering their annoy opposite a politicians as well as a “neo-Vikings” of monetary who have cheated them. The “revolution pans” led to a abdication of Parliament as well as a Conservative government. Among a claims of this movement, is a visualisation of those who have benefited from a mercantile incident as well as which pushed Iceland in to a mercantile abyss.


The
The” array pans “had mobilized multiform thousand people in a capital, a attainment opposite this tiny nation of 320 000 inhabitants. | AFP / HALLDOR KOLBEINS

early elections have been a left in power. New Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir wants to fast designate a special prosecutor to examine a causes of a crisis. But applications have been not rushing to fill a position.

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

In this multitude so narrow, a tiny round of professionals who would have been entitled to a duty were themselves as well concerned in a complement to try him. The son of former Minister of Justice himself was e.g. a CEO of Kaupthing, a single of a 3 banks during a heart of a storm.

Olafur Hauksson

, removed in his tiny provincial police, had a consequence of carrying no tie with this selected indicted of precipitating a island toward bankruptcy. Despite his unawareness in finish mercantile justice, it will be a usually a single to introduce for a post. A claimant not utterly spontaneous: a fish fisherman Sunday sole during a kind propelling of his government. So many so which his appointment, a fiercest swindling theorists have even indicted a authorities of Iceland have selected an fresh profession to derail investigations.

A HUNDRED INVESTIGATORS

More than 3 years after his appointment, Olafur Hauksson recognizes himself “not usually not prolonged ago proposed to feel great about a function” . First during a control of a group of 5 people, it right away runs some-more than a single hundred employees. “An exceptional, generally in an epoch of mercantile restraint,” pronounced a prosecutor. To await him in this mission, a Special Prosecutor additionally perceived a assistance of general experts, together with a French Eva Joly.

Their charge is twofold: “On a single hand, it is to examine all suspected rascal as well as offenses committed prior to 2009, upon a other, you dedicate ourselves to lawsuits opposite a purported perpetrators. “ A process ” utterly brand new “ which allows investigators to ” lane annals “, as well as justice, of ‘em > “know a commercial operation upon a fingertips.” A exigency “in sequence to contest with invulnerability attorneys really prepared.”

Fridjonsdottir Sigridur, prosecutor during a hearing of Geir Haarde.
Fridjonsdottir Sigridur, prosecutor during a hearing of Geir Haarde. | AFP / HALLDOR KOLBEINS

“FULL INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION”

To promote a goal of a prosecutor, a supervision has done legislative changes to promissory note secrecy. “Today you have entrance to all information, no conflict can says Olafur Hauksson. Suspicion of bank fraud, insider trading, fraud, temperament burglary professional, embezzlement, investigations have been sundry as well as a 3 – roughly 4 – inquire bedrooms have been full. The prosecutor pronounced currently work upon “one hundred priority issues” .

Most people concerned have been former officials of a monetary sector, members of play of banks prior to a crisis. Icelanders who have mostly been selected to go in to outcast in unfamiliar countries – quite in Luxembourg – to aspire to their careers. A scattering, which complicates a charge of a charge group Hauksson. But it multiplies searches as well as does not obviate serve investigations in unfamiliar subsidiaries of Icelandic banks, together with from unfamiliar nationals. “We have a full general cooperation,” Olafur Hauksson said.

FIRST CONVICTION

To date, couple of philosophy have been handed down. Two former management group of a bank Byr, initial to have been tried, condemned to 4 as well as a half years in prison. The former arch of staff of a Finance Minister during a time of crisis, Baldur Gudlaugsson, was convicted of insider traffic in dual years in prison. More recently, Sigurdur Einarsson is former boss of a bank Kaupthing, which was systematic to pay off a bank 500 million ISK – 3.2 million – as well as has seen all his resources frozen.

Others have been still watchful to go to court. Jon Thorsteinn Oddleifsson, a former treasurer of Landsbanki, will shortly know his fate, identical to Larus Welding, former CEO of Glitnir Bank.

IF Geir Haarde

In Sep 2011, Iceland became enchanted by a hearing of his former Prime Minister Geir Haarde, indicted of “gross negligence” in handling a monetary predicament as well as “violation of a laws upon ministerial responsibility.” Lawyers for a former budding apportion pleaded incapacity to reason him obliged for any mistakes done by others, together with former traffic apportion during a time.

>> Read: “Iceland: a former budding minister, guilty usually of a crisis?”

A winning strategy, as Geir Haarde has been convicted of usually a single of 4 counts: not carrying Ministerial Meeting convened in due march to plead of a situation. Yet a prosecutor had requested a limit judgment of dual years in jail opposite former budding minister, who has transient punishment.


Former Prime Minister of Iceland, Geir Haarde, during his trial.
Former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde during his trial. | AFP / Thorvaldur Orn Kristmundsson

“Geir Haarde’s box showed all a stipulations of agadir surf such a legal system,” analyzes a domestic scientist Erlingsdottir Rosa, highbrow during a University of Reykjavik. “Can you decider a decisions of a statesman in bureau as well as ask for accountability? It was all have a difference contained in this trial, as well as a reply of Justice has unhappy many Icelanders. ”

FORWARD CHRONIC”

work of Olafur Hauksson in truth arouses clever critique in a population. “The legal time is comparatively prolonged for a public,” recognizes a prosecutor. This “chronic impatience” evoked by a domestic scientist Erlingsdottir Rosa is a single some-more vigour to a Special Prosecutor’s Office. “We know which a eyes have been upon us, you contingency not fail” says Olafur Hauksson, though “speed things would constantly have mistakes as well as in a stream context with so many dread of institutions from a Icelanders, some-more than ever you contingency be upon top of reproach. “

But

formidable to be “perfect” in a multitude where controversial practices have prolonged been a rule. In May, dual members of a charge group as well as have sole report to ISK thirty million (191,000 euros) to a puzzling recipient. These dual former military officers questioning a box Sjovar / Milestone, an word association in which a Icelandic Central Bank had invested prior to giving at a back of a shares for a obtuse amount. Accused of violating a confidentiality of their function, a dual group were hung to mandatory retirement. Olafur Hauksson pronounced in a press Icelandic “take a have a difference really seriously” as well as fears a “deterioration of a credit of his team” .

Scapegoats

Other voices have been criticizing a actuality which a charge group “hounds scapegoats run whilst withdrawal a genuine culprits,” records Thoroddur Bjarnason, highbrow sociology during a University of Reykjavik. The box of David Oddsson is a many emblematic.

regressive budding apportion from 1991 to 2004, surf in Morocco afterwards executive of a Central Bank of Iceland from 2005 to 2009, he was a single of a categorical actors of a mercantile mutation of a island, with a neo-liberal consider tank, “The locomotive “. At a control of a country, he was at a back of a array of privatizations of a mercantile sector. In 2002, it is he who dissolved a National Economic Institute of Iceland, regulatory management eminent for a independence, as well as never rest only upon departmental investigate as well as investigate of banks themselves.

Yet today, no charges were brought opposite him, David Odsson even became a editor of a heading journal in Reykjavik, Morgunbladid . “A bit identical to Richard Nixon had allocated to control a Washington Post during Watergate” , says a tactful World .

Front of a Icelandic executive bank, in Oct 2008.
Facade of a Icelandic executive bank, in Oct 2008. | AFP / OLIVIER MORIN

“purge” of a Icelandic monetary system, as likes to contend Olafur Hauksson, will not be immediate. If he expects an finish of goal in 2015, a prosecutor generally goal which Iceland, whose manage to buy has progressively resumed, might a single day “look at a back of her, as well as be unapproachable to have well known sense from a past. “

For a former Commissioner, a goal is already “a success”. “I know of no e.g. of a procession identical control in a world, as well as a work showed how a promissory note complement which was implemented was a distant cry from which you illusory it. “ This regard additionally relates to a former Commissioner of a tiny fishing pier of Akranes.