Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is one of the big names due to start blogging on a new discussion forum run by Iceland’s Landsbanki bank. Brown is still affectionately-known in Iceland as the man who branded Landsbanki a terrorist organisation and destroyed Iceland’s economy — although it is more recently widely acknowledged that this is not very fair on the man.
Landsbanki has opened a new discussion site within www.landsbanki.is under the name Umraedan, or ‘the Discussion’. A statement from the bank says that Landsbanki wanted to create a place for criticism and expert discussion of economic and finance issues. It instantly raised eyebrows to see that Gordon Brown is among those scheduled to write articles for the site.
Brown was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom when the Icelandic banking system collapsed in autumn 2008. Among his actions which proved unpopular in Iceland was to apply terrorist legislation to freeze Icelandic assets in the UK, mbl.is reports.
Earlier this year Icelandic President, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, said in a Wall Street Journal interview that he believes Gordon Brown should apologise to Iceland for his behaviour towards the country during the crisis of October 2008.
For his part, Gordon Brown always claimed he was doing what was necessary to protect his own country and felt at the time that he was forced into his actions by the mix of silence and unclear information coming from authorities in Reykjavik.
The statement from Landsbanki says that it is the hope of bank management that an open and informed discussion on the site will form a base on which to rebuild trust in the financial system. The goal is to create a dynamic online environment for discussion and an important meeting place for those wanting to follow developments in the world of finance and economics.
Despite the name, physical location and many staff members, the Landsbanki in operation now is a different bank to the one which collapsed in 2008. Old Landsbanki is in liquidation and expects to be able to repay the British and Dutch governments for the money they lost reimbursing Landsbanki’s Icesave customers in the two countries.