First They Jailed the Bankers, Now Every Icelander to Get Paid in Bank Sale

IcelandSyriaBy Claire Bernish

First, Iceland jailed its crooked bankers for their direct involvement in the financial crisis of 2008. Now, every Icelander will receive a payout for the sale of one of its three largest banks, Íslandsbanki.

If Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson has his way — and he likely will — Icelanders will be paid kr 30,000 after the government takes over ownership of the bank. Íslandsbanki would be second of the three largest banks under State proprietorship.

“I am saying that the government take some decided portion, 5%, and simply hand it over to the people of this country,” he stated.

Because Icelanders took control of their government, they effectively own the banks. Benediktsson believes this will bring foreign capital into the country and ultimately fuel the economy — which, incidentally, remains the only European nation to recover fully from the 2008 crisis. Iceland even managed to pay its outstanding debt to the IMF in full — in advance of the due date.

Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Budget Committee vice chairperson, explained the move would facilitate the lifting of capital controls, though he wasn’t convinced State ownership would be the ideal solution. Former Finance Minister Steingrímur J. Sigfússon sided with Þórðarson, telling a radio show, “we shouldn’t lose the banks to the hands of fools” and that Iceland would benefit from a shift in focus to separate “commercial banking from investment banking.”

Plans haven’t yet been firmly set for when the takeover and subsequent payments to every person in the country will occur, but Iceland’s revolutionary approach to dealing with the international financial meltdown of 2008 certainly deserves every bit of the attention it’s garnered.

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Iceland recently jailed its 26th banker — with 74 years of prison time amongst them — for causing the financial chaos. Meanwhile, U.S. banking criminals were rewarded for their fraud and market manipulation with an enormous bailout at the taxpayer’s expense.

This article (First They Jailed the Bankers, Now Every Icelander to Get Paid in Bank Sale) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Claire Bernish and Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. If you spot a typo, email [email protected].

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12 Comments on "First They Jailed the Bankers, Now Every Icelander to Get Paid in Bank Sale"

  1. wonder what will happen is SA…jail the politicians & bankers as they seem to go hand in hand….

  2. Good for Iceland….A model the USA should follow but never will…If it weren’t so cold I would like to live among those people…but they wouldn’t want a half crazed old fart like me ranting all the time romping among the hills uttering insane things. (sic)

  3. They did it right! All that pot beating worked!!

  4. robertjustrobert | October 30, 2015 at 7:13 pm | Reply

    Jail our bankers, ceos & politicians who choose self serving over my grandkids.

  5. Rahomnisiel Nightshade | October 31, 2015 at 12:49 pm | Reply

    Iceland is now in danger of being attacked! Rally behind Iceland!

  6. What do you mean? Hasn’t the move to imprison the bankers help Icelanders? This artical claims that country has recovered from the crises. Why are they loosing they homes?

    • Only a handfull really went to prison and that a luxury one. All of them kept their money and us the common people are still paying the bill. News like this is crap,, simple.. and I wonder who makes them up. Half of Iclanders have lost their houses and are in dept upp to their eyeballs…

      • Well that does sound like crap. But it seems like its a bit better then the rest of the world’s countries whoes goverments chose to bail them out with tax payers money. Also this artical claims that country no longers owns money to IMF. (Which gets top marks in my book.) Could it be because of this they have raised interest rates on loans?

    • The high interests are making it impossible to pay off the houses and in the meanwile banks are profitting more than ever.. I have moved to Sweden with my family… if you dont have a lot of money its very hard to live in Iceland… 🙁

  7. haraldur Ingi Haraldsson | November 1, 2015 at 4:25 am | Reply

    Dont buy this bullshit. It is TALK about 5% Jeltsin style give away witch then will be hoarded by the rich cronies of the political elite that gets to buy the banks. IF it ever happens. Iceland is sick with corruption, crony and nepotism. I know you guys crave some utopia of just and fair society to exist but I tell you it is not us by a mile!

  8. Þòròlfur Júlían Dagsson | November 1, 2015 at 6:56 pm | Reply

    dont bee fooled. This is propaganda, They are privatiseing the banks again and the two most corupted political parties in iceland are going to split the two banks that the goverment baled out between them selfs or there friends no doubt. The promised to give 5% split among every one on the iland. Witch is not enugh to fool us

  9. The amount isn’t important, the principle is.

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