According to the UK Prime Minster, Gordon Brown in an Interview with the BBC earlier today “The Icelandic banks have failed not only the people of Iceland; they have failed people in Britain.”
According to Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde this is not the case and Iceland would not tolerate being placed in the same category as terrorists. “We have talked to Alistair Darling and representatives from both governments will meet over the weekend and take on this growing problem”, he said at the press conference today.
Gordon Brown finished the interview by saying “We will make sure that people feel secure in Britain.”
Read more on financial crisis in Iceland on IceNews:
IceSave to be covered by mutual agreement
IceSave customers to get UK support
IceSave customers consoled by Iceland PM agreeable solution sought
Iceland economic update: full analysis
Icelandic PM in emotional address to nation
I would just like to personally thank Gordon Brown for not showing one little bit of sympathy for the English people that are living in Iceland with their family´s and can now walk down the street here and face verbal abuse for being English…
ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU MR: BROWN…….
mr. brown should reconsider his rhetoric.
the presumption that english law is applicable to the world in general is a given, might be considered arrogant diatribe.
brits, look deeper.
the international banking community in effect bankrupted icelandic banks, iceland having realized this, does not wish to cooperate fully with those who caused their demise.
The difference is that Britain is bailing out its own banks. Iceland is forcing other countries to do it for them.
I don’t think anyone’s saying Icelandic banks were more incompetent than other nations banks (that would take a lot of doing). The problem is that the Icelandic nation gave guarantees, and it is now unwilling or unable to fulfil them.
And they wonder why people are angry….
Brown is very good at coming out of bad situations he has created and turning it onto someone else.
All of this money Should have been in the Bank of England, Or a British version – By being in Icelandic account it makes for a good blame game… a buck of responsibility
Problem is the Icelandic government is as corrupt as the UK’s government. Fighting over insane amounts of money that doesn’t really exist.
Nationalist term’s make it easier to shift the blame onto a figure … “terrorism“ is a great e.g. Which “Mr” Brown can try boast his pathetic-unelected “career.”
Or look at relations with Russia for another good one-sided load of bollox.
Now the Icelandic government sadly, Has given normal Brits a reason to side with that berk that is brown.
But if your governments not goanna give councils , University’s, charities.. Etc,, and allow normal people to get there money like Icelanders, Which they worked 9-5 for just like every one else.
Expect a great deal of hostility if the normal response is the “lil sweet island don’t give us trouble ”.
Rather than let’s sort our gov out !
Normal brits will have to pay for this with even HIGHER taxes, and they are way too high anyway. Trust, They would rather give you a hard time than face that.
Most brits never even met and Icelander, Nothing against you. If anything standings are positive , Iceland doesn’t cause trouble… normally…
PS: I agree with the last post, Beer! :D
All politics are rubbish :D
To SUE: Madam, don’t you think, that British banks also “a bit” overborrowed? What if Britain is next? I hope you perfectly understand, that british banks invest money EXACTLY as their Icelandic colleagues. There’s a limit of the height for this piramid, don’t forget.
Have a beer and be easier :)
As a private depositor my son was not greedy and just wanted the best rate for his hard-earned cash which he had only deposited with your bank from the sale of his property just 2 weeks before this happened. Being an honest person himself he trusted the guarantee your bank gave and was astounded to hear that your Government had no intention of honouring that guarantee. ICELANDERS SHOULD HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME FOR THIS ILLEGAL SCAMMING. Have you any idea of the misery you have caused. I totally agree with everything Simon Shaw has said, ie that you have damaged your international standing and we should ALL boycott Iceland and its products. Also, for once I agree with Gordon Brown that all Iceland’s UK assets should be frozen.
There is a lot of nonsense on this ‘blog’. Banks are to blame here, not Iceland; the UK or any of it’s citizens. People get panicked very easily (just read some of these comments) but snippets of information they hear in the media without looking up the facts. Banks have bankrupted both Iceland and Britain; tax payers and savers are paying now and the governments are only pandering to voters. Wake up and smell the roses you average people – you are and will suffer, the real culprits, the bankers, will get bailed out again and again and will continue to force poverty and debt upon you.
I think its time Britain stopped trying to solve this with diplomacy we need to take strong action against Iceland and annex the country and install a proper government as their government is clearly made of thieves and liars.
Good to hear from someone in Iceland. I appreciate your close comment re not a banker or investor…
I too (like most people caught up in this) am just an ordinary guy trying to provide for my family with real possibility of being made redundant soon. I am not greedy or an investor I am simply trying to do what is right for my family.
Why people are so upset is that whilst Landisbanki continues to trade in Iceland all international depositors (people who have provided your country with the means to grow and prosper) have had their money frozen (or stolen as some may say).
We as depositors were not part of the investment making process and were just putting money aside for ourselves incase of a rainy day. If I was an investor I would have to accept the risks (some you win others you lose) however I am not.
unfortunately the Icelandic government have compounded an already difficult situation by not communicating what is going on, when things will become clearer etc.
As I have said before the Icelandic authorities have legal, financial & moral obligations to fulfil – no-one says it is easy but it is their choice how they respond – the eyes of the world are watching and to try and be fair the authorities have not dealt with this well – it is rapidly becoming a lesson how not to do (more openness and less secrecy would help a lot).
The Icelandic crisis: point of view of an Icelander First of all the situation in Iceland is really bad. I look at my country as people are loosing their jobs, there is no security and the future is gloomy: analysts are saying Iceland might go back 30 years economically speaking.
It is of course very sad that other people are affected as well, British, Dutch, Finish, etc. Glitnir and Landskankin were privately owned banks at the moment of their bankruptcies . In my opinion, greedy investors took the wrong decisions with people’s money , and now a hole nation is affected :”We were faced with the real possibility that the national economy would be sucked into the global banking swell and end in national bankruptcy,” Icelandic prime minister Mr Haarde said.
But my county is trying it’s best to cope with the crisis.
In my opinion the act of the British government to declare a terrorist law against Iceland by freezing other Icelandic companies is socking. What does other Icelandic firms have to do with this 2 particular private banks? Or the government of Iceland, as the British prime minister has putted into word: “We will take further action against the Icelandic authorities wherever that is necessary to recover money.”
Is this the best road to a peaceful collaboration into solving this huge financial crisis?
I believe other countries might have answered with war. After saying this about war, i have to confess i am glad we are a tiny nation without an army, peaceful, hard working people, with the main occupation of fishing before the crazy bankers and investors came along. Now it seems we are going back to the fish factories.
Does the US government back up all the private banks that might get bankrupt with all the mes that can create?
In a BBC report was putted this question: ” Why didn’t the US Treasury save Lehman Brothers? …the US tax payer has been put at risk of shouldering the burden of billions of dollars of losses, and it is becoming politically LESS ACCEPTABLE for the government to keep bailing out private companies.”
The same BBC article mentions that “analysts say the US Treasury has put a line under its willingness to use public money to rescue banks which have made wrong decisions.”
In my opinion, the banks ( Glitnir, Landsbankinn) at the moment of their bankruptcy were owned by greedy investors who took wrong decisions and now my country is going to hell for that.
I want to address to my leaders and the British leaders to be careful in their decision making. I hope they will find the way to work together to fix this mess. Me, as a regular citizen of Iceland, and i think i can speak for regular hard working British people, that is what we all want.
Iceland has been getting a bad reputation in the news, and i think is undeserved. There are certain individuals that caused this financial plague, not regular Icelanders.
Not a banker or investor,
just a regular website owner from Iceland
erika/guga: No, Scandinavia has not turned their backs on Iceland. There are swap agreements between the central banks and Glitnir and Kaupthing both got 5 billion NOK/SEK loans from Norway and Sweden the last couple of days. Other requests for help simply has not come to us yet, even though the norwegians have publicly even said that they would help if Iceland asked them! From where i stand it seems that the Icelandic government is too proud to ask its family for help, and rather go to a loan shark to avoid being seen as weak.
Lets be clear.
1) The UK are not calling Iceland it is merely the legal mechanism used to freeze the assets – a bit unfortunate but Iceland not FIRST (yes remember Iceland reacted first) in such a way it would have not been necessary to do this
1) I am not a investor I am a depositor – the money I deposited is being used to invest. In return I am being given a reasonable (not extreme) level of interest.
2) I beg to differ with the view Landsbanki/ICESAVE were deemed as risky – Iceland maybe but noone could have foreseen the need to nationlise the banks – I am no expert but I believe the money frozen from abroad (Germany, Holland and UK) is being used to prop up the country
3) The icelandic authorities have forzen access to our money I suspect that had this been in reverse ie the same legal framework (the terrorism laws) wouldc have been used to freeze international assets.
4) The icelandic PM is clearly out of his depth his message (when you get one) is mixed and confussing – look at what he has said in the last, on a daily basis changes his view on Wednesday when the UK siezed the assets using the terrorism laws he said he was fine (surprising, but true) now he is not – MAKE UP HIS MIND!!
5) The icelandic government have a financial, legal & moral obligation to it’s international customers – the reality is whether I get my money back or not failure to honour these will seriously impact Iceland in the long term – people outside the immediate crisis will be observing and will in future no have trust that Iceland will honour its commitments – personally I feel I am in a better place – good luck Iceland.
Un pays en faillite potentielle mendiant à l’étranger un financement à court terme, deux des trois grandes banques nationalisées en catastrophe, une inflation de 15 % et une monnaie, la couronne islandaise, qui, en un an, a perdu 60 % de sa valeur : telle est la situation actuelle de l’Islande. Comment a-t-on pu en arriver là ? C’est la question que se pose l’Islandais moyen en ayant le sentiment de n’avoir participé en rien à cette piteuse équipée.
Cette crise qui terrasse l’Islande n’est pas franchement visible. Les grandes artères de Reykjavik sont embouteillées des mêmes somptueux 4×4 matin et soir. La forêt de grues est toujours là, surplombant des chantiers en panne. Là ou devaient se construire un palais de la musique, un “World Trade Center”, un hôtel de luxe de 400 chambres et le nouveau siège de la banque Landsbanki – en cessation de paiement et nationalisée depuis mardi 7 octobre au matin -, seule la salle de concert verra le jour. Mais Reykjavik reste à la fois calme et industrieuse avec ses ciels de pluie fulgurants et son chômage inexistant.
Oui, comment en est-on arrivé là ? L’Islande n’est pas un pays en voie de développement, c’est une société très moderne de 330 000 habitants, la plus riche des nations nordiques après la Norvège, qui caracole en tête de tous les palmarès internationaux. C’est un Etat de droit dont les institutions sont analogues à celles des pays scandinaves. Et pourtant, on en est arrivé là.
Il y a d’abord un problème intérieur qui n’est pas nouveau : les Islandais, depuis plusieurs générations, vivent à crédit, au-dessus de leurs moyens. Plusieurs générations l’ont fait depuis la guerre, c’est leur culture, et ils ont toujours payé leurs dettes au prix d’un deuxième, voire d’un troisième boulot. On a ici le sentiment de vivre quand on a de l’argent, c’est-à-dire quand on n’en a plus le temps. Mais ce n’est pas cela qui a ruiné l’Islande, même si les banques, caressant les Islandais dans le sens du poil, leur proposaient encore récemment de payer leur logement sur quarante ans sans apport personnel. Les jeunes couples qui ont été tentés le paient aujourd’hui chèrement : leur dette dépasse la valeur de leur bien immobilier. Les générations précédentes s’en sortent un peu mieux. Leurs retraites seront amputées, le premier ministre, Geir Haarde, l’a annoncé sans ambages lundi, car les fonds de pension possèdent un important portefeuille d’actions dans les banques en déroute.
Mais, si le problème n’était qu’intérieur, la petite société islandaise aurait tôt fait de s’en remettre, tant les cycles de récession et d’expansion se mettent rapidement en marche dans une société aussi réduite. Le problème est, en fait, la taille démesurée des banques islandaises par rapport au pays et l’imprévoyance et les erreurs de la banque d’émission islandaise. Le premier ministre a révélé que les dettes des banques représentaient douze fois le PNB de l’Islande. Il était temps que les Islandais, surpris, l’apprennent.
La troisième banque du pays, Glitnir, fut la première à ne pas pouvoir se refinancer. La nouvelle de sa nationalisation a ébranlé la confiance dans les filiales de la seconde banque, Landsbanki. Ses clients ont récupéré leurs avoirs en Grande-Bretagne dans un mouvement de panique, mettant la banque Landsbanki à genoux. En cessation de paiement, elle a été placée sous le contrôle des autorités financières. Et qui, pendant la crise, a donné l’impression de ne pas mesurer la situation ? Qui, depuis des années, a évité de signaler l’excessif endettement des banques ? Le directeur de la banque d’émission, M. David Oddsson, ancien premier ministre et président du parti conservateur et qui continue en sous-main de tirer les ficelles de son parti, oubliant parfois qu’il n’est plus premier ministre.
Les banques islandaises sont récentes et leur histoire est une saga édifiante. Jadis toutes les banques d’Etat, très nombreuses dans un aussi petit pays, ont fusionné. Il n’en est plus resté que trois, privatisées dans les années 1990. Le schéma est jusqu’ici classique. Mais à qui confier le noyau dur de ces banques ? Cruel dilemme et conflit d’intérêt : les riches repreneurs se sont avérés être des entrepreneurs qui, une fois devenus banquiers, se sont accordé des crédits avec une coupable libéralité.
Les deux banques, aujourd’hui nationalisées, ont des profils qui se ressemblent. Notons, pour les freudiens, que les entrepreneurs islandais sont soit des frères, soit une association père-fils.
L’homme d’affaires Björgólfur Gudmundsson, qui vient de perdre des dizaines de milliards de couronnes en trois jours, avait tenté d’ouvrir à la concurrence le transport de fret maritime en Islande. Acculé à la faillite, il émigra en Angleterre. Alcoolique repenti mais confiant dans l’avenir de la consommation d’alcool en Russie, il y créa une brasserie et introduisit à Saint-Pétersbourg la consommation des mélanges “breezers” vodka-soda. Bien gérée, l’entreprise prospéra et fut revendue à Heineken. “Gudmundsson Monte-Cristo”, de retour en Islande, avait les moyens d’acquérir la Landsbanki avec l’argent russe. Mais le père et le fils se lancèrent dans la pharmacie et le téléphone en Europe de l’Est, puis dans une grande variété d’investissements pas toujours heureux en Grande-Bretagne. Le père, tel un oligarque russe, s’offrit un club de foot de première division britannique, West Ham, un rêve de gosse.
Johannes et Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, qui possédaient 31 % de la banque Glitnir, la première à être nationalisée, c’est aussi l’histoire d’un père et de son fils. Le père, épicier, lança une chaîne de supérettes “discount”. Le fils a épousé l’héritière de la plus grande chaîne de supermarchés. Là aussi, une grande ambition glissa lentement vers la démesure. Au Danemark, leur société, après avoir investi massivement dans l’immobilier, lança un quotidien gratuit aujourd’hui disparu.
Leur situation financière en Grande-Bretagne là encore n’est guère plus brillante : seuls les petits pois congelés Iceland font des bénéfices. Toutes les enseignes prestigieuses achetées au prix fort dans la mode, la joaillerie ou les jouets ne sont plus vendables. Bien qu’appauvri le fils vole toujours en jet privé entre l’Islande et New York où il réside.
Mardi matin, la banque d’émission a doté la couronne d’un taux fixe (130 couronnes pour un euro), et les Russes ont promis un prêt de 4 milliards d’euros. Ce retour des Russes fait sourire ceux qui se souviennent de la guerre froide. Les Américains avaient alors une base de 4 000 soldats qu’ils ont désertée depuis pour des destinations plus chaudes, l’Islande étant un maillon essentiel de repérage des sous-marins soviétiques. Les Russes, à l’époque, courtisaient les Islandais, et troquaient du pétrole contre des vêtements de laine et du hareng. L’Islande a perdu de son importance géopolitique, mais pourrait redevenir intéressante si la fonte des glaces polaires devait transformer le nord des côtes de la Sibérie en autoroute maritime.
the only solution is for iceland to be absorbed into the uk. i know this sounds a tough thing for proud icelandics to swallow, but you are bankrupt. you owe ove £100,000 for every man woman and child and you cannot pay up. in the long term, it would be a beneficial move for both uk and icelandic citizens. there are a lot of cultural ties already. it’s us or the russians, so choose!
Pls look at what your fellow icelander Erika’s said: Iceland tried to get Loans from Scandinavia… so i/o being ‘VERBALLY’ supportive to tell them to be scammers and get away with others’ cash, just lend the 60-100B to them if you ‘CAN’.
btw switching from icelandic to swedish no big deal so leave your we nordic are special and abve evryone crap to yrself
some think the anti-terrorist legislation was actually designed not for terrorists, but as a mechanism to discipline corporations, banks and individuals who for whatever reason displease world financial leaders.
I like Iceland and Britain is already rich, they don´t need that money. they can bail it out. Save the great Iceland…UK also made a lot of mistakes like US in managing their banks. I think both are responsible for this mess. Iceland is a victim…
Looks like the English (who have long scammed people from other countries) are now surprised that another country got the best of them. Boo hoo.
Simon> Now you sound a bit like your allies across the pond. Calling names does not equal the truth. This is in no way terrorism. Let us wait and see if it turns out to be thievery.
Erika> Well, you are getting some help. Swedish gov’t just offered a €500 million loan to your Kaupthing branch in Sweden. A few cents here and there count too you know.
Brad – you are wrong.
The Icelandic PM has been inconsistent in his message but his presentation today he clearly states that Iceland will not protect deposits. He goes on to thank the British government for doing that.
Erika – I beg to differ
Our government have used anti-terrorism laws to freeze your assets.
Anti-terrorism laws are used against terrorists.
And we are not TERRORIST.
Simon, I think you’ll find that despite some initial confusion, Iceland intends to honour its debt to Icesave customers. In fact, the PM said that Landsbanki’s assets can almost cover the debt without state help.
Also, I can’t help feeling Gordon Brown is lashing out at a tiny nation to appear tough and deflect attention from Britain’s own banking crisis. Iceland is not on an even foot to fight this PR war against the UK government.
Iceland tried to get Loans from Scandinavia and all “OUR BROTHERS COUNTRIES” turn around and totally ignore us, while we were in need. So if we are in need and someone is offering us their Hand of course we take it. And if Russia is offering us help. Welcome be Russia.
Iceland are definitely scammers Joakim.
There was a deposit protection scheme in place by the Icelandic authorities that was meant to protect the first €20,000 of depositor’s money. The balance to £50,000 was paid by the British FSCS.
The Icelandic scheme refused to pay out, which left the UK goverment having to protect its depositors.
So Iceland promise to protect investors, so investors invest. Then Iceland fails to act on that promise and lets many people lose their life savings.
Well, now you have damaged your international standing. Lets hope those affected in the UK – some 300,000 people all boycott Iceland and their products.
One day, I hope that the citizens of Iceland also lose everything in one fell swoop. You certainly deserve it. A nation with no integrity or responsibility.
guga: I’m not sure how you got to the conclusion that i’m calling icelanders scammers…
Icesave was considered a risky bank to put your money in as Iceland is too small to guarantee savings in banks that had grown so big.
In Swedish TV, Mr. Haarde (who speaks great Swedish by the way ^_^ ) said he is very happy with the response he has gotten from the nordic countries, and stressed that the comment that iceland’s friends abandoning them did certainly not refer to us. We have not “dumped” Iceland.
And so it begins – the last financial balls up in 1930 followed the same logic – misloaned and mis borrowed money reducing countries to rabid protectionism/nationalism. I fail to see a course of action open to either the UK or Iceland other than the ones they have followed since the depression began to bite. This coulfd have been prevented but you cannot stop from beginning that which has all ready happened.
Joakim Sweden said “You gambled and lost, get over it”. Are you calling the people of iceland a team of scam? Next point… Iceland must have approached Russia having been dumped by Sweden. so there is a thing for you to investigate about.
What the hell were all these Brittish councils, schools, childrens hospices’ ect doing with their money in Icelandic banks anyways??? I’m by no stretch of the imagination saying in anyway that they are at fault – but they took the risk by investing in a foriegn currency. You’ve got to take the good with the bad, otherwise keep your dosh in a Barclays / Nat Wwest account.
Freezing Brittish transactions while keeping Icelandic ones open is well out of order, I can´t agree more there……
As for taking “loans” from the Russians…… It’s decisions like this that highlights the stupidity of the powers that be – no wonder the economy’s gone to the dogs!
IN RESPOND TO SIMON SHAW AND DAVID:
HAD NOT THE UK GOVERNMENT BAILED OUT THOSE FAILING BANK, WOULD THEY (UK PEOPLE) BE CALLED TERRORIST OR THEFT?
PLEASE DON’T MESSED UP WHOLE NATION WITH COMMERCIAL ENTITY.
OR UK PRIME MINISTER SHOULD GO TO LAW SCHOOL IN ORDER TO GAIN SOME KNOWLEDGE OF LAWFUL TERMS.
I agree with you Joakim. I don’t understand going to Russia for money, that should be the last resort. But why aren’t the Nordic goverments lending their helping hand? I bet they have been asked.
The truth is that the people in the UK that put their money in icelandic banks have themselves to blame. It was common knowledge how fragile icelandic banks were and the collapse has been predicted for about a year already. They were just to greedy to abstain from the nice interest promised by icelandic banks. You gambled and lost, get over it.
I also think Iceland should go to their family in Scandinavia instead of Russia for help, we were in this exact situation 15 years ago and know what it’s like. I very much doubt a request for an emergency loan would be denied by any nordic country.
Using the anti terror laws was the only option left to the UK given Icelands intention to protect to their own national’s savings using the deposits of UK savers to do so.
What did the Icelandic PM think would happen?
I don’t think Gordaon Brown was accusing Iceland of being terrorists it is merely the legal mechanism to allow them to freeze the UK assets.
What should not be forgotten is that no foreign depositors (UK & Dutch) can get at their money whilst people in Iceland remain able to gain access to their money. I guess we could remove the word terrorist and replace it with thief if it makes the Icelandic PM happier.
Either way the real question is when are we (customers of the bank) going to get some answers as to what is happening?
“Terrorist” is a ludicrous word to use both by Haarde and the poster above. Certain UK banks would have collapsed as spectacularly as the Icelandic 3 had the UK government not bailed them out. That is the difference. Overborrowed as it already is, the UK still has the bulk to be able to. Iceland doesn’t stand a chance, and it’s Government is criminally incompetent to have allowed the situation to have arisen. But not “terrorists”. That’s absurd.
I believe it’s about 70 UK councils, several police authorities and, according to the BBC, a children’s hospice, have hundreds of millions in the Icelandic banks. Certain London councils (yet un-named) will have problems paying their wage bill next week.
The terrorist nation should be ashamed of themselves.
You took life savings from old people and showed no remorse.
You made a promise and then failed to honour it.
This behaviour cannot and will not be forgiven.