Iceland puts on trial those responsible for the crash. Why doesn’t Britain?

Iceland had a spectacular economic collapse in October 2008 which bankrupted the country. This followed two decades in which right-wing governments engaged in an orgy of financial deregulation, launching a bonanza for its bankers with plentiful credit for its citizens, weak financial oversight and an unspoken rule not to ask too many questions but keep on spending.

How similar to the UK! Iceland’s 3 main banks, controlled by a tiny elite clique, had a paper value 10 times Iceland’s GDP. How similar again – in 2007 RBS alone had a loan book equal to 5 times Britain’s GDP. Continue reading

Iceland recovers but offers little hope to Greece

Iceland, a small, rocky outpost in the North Atlantic and home to just over 318,000 people is not a country that easily makes international headlines. But back in the 1970s, Iceland was a staple feature of the nightly news in the UK at least, as that country’s small navy did its best to repulse British fishing vessels in what became known as the ‘Cod War’. More recently, Iceland which had prided itself as being one of the most egalitarian societies in the World had moved rapidly to de-regulate and privatise its economy, in a bid to boost investment and expand its burgeoning banking sector. This was back in the 1990s, and by the Millennium, the Icelandic Government had largely de-regulated and privatised its banks, thus opening the way to a massive expansion of the financial sector. Continue reading