Where have all the billionaires gone?

2009-06-16-Hillbilliesoficelandbjorgolfurthorandkristin2-thumbCertain Icelandic billionaires (and the odd millionaire) are accused of profiting personally from Iceland’s economic downfall through unlawful or shady means. Whether guilty or innocent, they have a lot to answer for; but have been largely silent and invisible for months.

Today the tabloid DV gossips that three former Landsbanki bosses seem to be opening up an office together in a house near Reykjavik’s commercial harbour. The building in question is owned by former Landsbanki board member Thorgeir Baldursson and the three wannabe business partners are reportedly Sigurjon Arnason, Halldor J. Kristjansson and the infamous ex-West Ham owner, Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson.

Staff members at other businesses in the building report being “somewhat surprised” to see the mysterious tycoons in their workplace. Their purpose is unclear, but a spokesman for Gudmundsson assured the men are renting the office temporarily solely as a place to finalise paperwork connected to Old Landsbanki. Others are not so sure.

Meanwhile, the Icesave deal doesn’t seem to be getting any more popular with the general public who don’t see why they should be saddled with massive debts for the irresponsible actions of a private company.

A protest is planned again for this afternoon at 15.00 outside parliament and a Facebook group urging parliament to reject the contract has over 30,000 members and was growing by a thousand a day last time IceNews checked.

If you’re wondering, the photo for this post is of former part owner of Landsbanki, Bjorgolfur Thor Björgolfsson, and his wife, Kristin Olafsdottir, enjoying the good life on a yacht in Cannes last month. The photo was sent to many of the Icelandic media by political activists after appearing on the Huffington Post.

“Furious Icelanders have recently been posting this photograph on Icelandic blogs as evidence both that crime pays and that money doesn’t necessarily buy taste. Every woman, man and child in Iceland stands to be indebted to the tune of USD 16,000 to repay British customers who deposited their savings into “Icesave” accounts in the bank’s London subsidiary. The London bank granted a USD 327 million loan to one of Bjorgolfur’s companies, whose outstanding debts to the now state-owned Landsbanki amount to USD 310 million,” Iris Erlingsdottir says on HuffingtonPost.com.

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