Our massively unpopular president (whose ill fated support of bankers and business people in the lead-up to the crash was more than embarrassing), has decided singlehandedly to change his office to resemble more the American or French presidencies, thus giving him an active political role. – Is he a villain or a hero?
He does this of-course in the name of democracy, by putting to a referendum, this simple question. Would you rather pay for the crimes of my former banker friends or be ostracized from the international community?
By the way, glittering generalities such as: “the international community”, “will honor obligations” sound sincere but they really mean nothing, which is the first rule of propaganda.
Due to the nature of the paraphrased question, I oscillate between the impossible options. Somehow, this referendum reminds me of children playing “Would you rather”.
However, the collaborated crimes of bank$ters and governments in the respective countries, allowing banks to operate without proper supervision, and agreeing only on cloaking their actions behind bank secrecy and then insisting, under threats and duress (Shock Doctrine), that the public committed the crime and should pay for it. This form of government by far surpasses Orwellian Nightmares.
Sheldon Filger, is less torn than I when he writes:
” What is now occurring in Iceland is a foretaste of what may become more common throughout the developed world. Taxpayers have been told by policymakers that they must bear the financial costs of failed decisions made by private business, no matter how steep the price, or accept even more horrendous economic consequences. For the first time, an aroused public in at least one country has rejected the dictates being imposed by the political establishment. No wonder that the Dutch and British governments reacted so swiftly with a condemnation of Iceland’s citizens for having the audacity to think they have the right to exercise their democratic rights in deciding for themselves what is in the best economic interests of their nation. ”
And Martin Wolf the chief economics commentator at the Financial Times writes.
“This is not about cutting a running deficit, which is, indeed, unavoidable. It is about forcing innocent people to assume gigantic liabilities for which they have no legal or moral responsibility. How would UK citizens feel if they were forced to assume a debt of £400bn because of HSBC’s failure to meet deposit insurance liabilities in Asia? Let the UK take the bank’s assets and leave it at that.”
“If the assets of the bank are that valuable, why not write off the debt, in return for the claims on these assets? That would be a generous gesture. It is, more importantly, one that would do much to improve the morale of a battered and vulnerable little country. Threatening such a country with destruction, as Lord Myners has done, is simply shameful. The UK and the Netherlands should stop this self-righteous bullying at once.”
“Yet they – and everybody else – must learn the really big lesson here. The combination of cross-border banking with generous guarantees to creditors is unsustainable. Taxpayers cannot be expected to write open-ended insurance on the foreign activities of their banks. It is bad enough to have to do so at home.“
Ann Pettifor and Jeremy Smith, estimate this figure to be €12,000 in damages per capita. Michael Hudson’s estimate is $20,000 for each Icelandic citizen. Multiply this figure with your own census and make up your own mind about how you would vote, – if you where even asked.
The president puts this figure in context: “May I remind that if you take the sum that the Icelandic taxpayers are asked to shoulder and you transform it in to the British economic system to get the relative size, this is equal to the British taxpayers being asked to pay £700 billion ($1.1 trillion) for the years and decades to come.”
In a TV interview Alain Lipietz one of the authors of EU’s Directive on Financial Services Supervision, states categorically, that the responsibility for supervising banks from outside the EU is with the host country. And that since 1789 governments can’t confiscate money from their citizens to pay to someone else (Money-archy vs. Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, ou la mort).
To get reelected, J. M. Barroso promised 500 million Europeans a new “social Europe”. He is now closely watched by member- and aspiring member states suffering from predatory creditors. Will he live up to his promise?
The “political class” is franticly trying to abort the referendum in Iceland because of the dangerous precedence it would set for other plebeians, and God save our “principal men” from Democracy.
Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe by Peter Stufford tells the story of Francesch Castello a failed banker who was beheaded in front of his bank in 1360. (y) Obviously this was before the “Money Masters” bought (into) the Democratic process. (n)
Without social justice there is no future for Europe: by Dr. M. Elvira Méndez-Pinedo.
White-collar crime fighter Eva Joly takes on IceSave
We’re all Icelanders now By Robert Peston
Why do we trust the financial priests? By Robert Peston
Media literacy. why is Peston excemt? BBC rebukes Sally Magnusson
Iceland sees the first anti-bailout revolt by Allister Heath
Iceland has no clear legal obligation to pay up By Dr Michael Waibel
Unjust for Iceland to take sole responsibility By Ms Ann Pettifor and Mr Jeremy Smith
Leading article: Iceland should not be bullied
Iceland can refuse debt servitude By Michael Hudson
The Oligarchs’ Escape Plan By Michael Hudson