Tuesday, January 05, 2010

"Power To The People" Iceland Edition......

I expect that hand in hand with a rising Sovereign Misery Index the times for bailing out anyone without ( hopefully non violent ) brewing tensions & extreme political backlash are at least getting tougher (outside the US ;-) ..... Needless to say that i largely agree with the following quote from Mish... Iceland has a good chance to nagotiate a much better deal after the referendum......

Ich denke das Hand in Hand mit einem steigenden Sovereign Misery Index die Zeiten der "bedenkenlosen" Bailouts ( Ausnahme selbstredend die USA ;-) ohne "größeren" öffentlichen Widerstand ( hoffentlich weiterhin gewaltfrei ) nicht mehr ohne weiteres ohne politische Folgen durchgewunken werden können... Überflüssig zu erwähnen das ich größtenteils mit dem nachfolgenden Fazit von Mish übereinstimme..... Ich jedenfalls wäre ebenfalls erbost für Kunden, die wegen eines minimalen Zinsvorteiles oftmals mit gewaltigen Summen zu Kaupthing & Co gewechselt sind, jetzt die Zeche zu zahlen...... Gehe jede Wette ein das Island nachdem das Referendum stattgefunden hat einen deutlich besseren Deal aushandeln kann und wird......

Iceland's President Effectively Tells UK "Go To Hell" - Hooray For Iceland Mish

Congratulations to Iceland for figuring out that it is better to suffer a credit rating downgrade than to torture its citizens for a decade or longer Iceland may have other problems but at least that one was resolved (hopefully), the quick and painless way.

And that should have been the model for US banks as well. The stockholders and bondholders should be the first ones wiped out.

Instead Bush started and Obama continued with a policy to punish the innocent to bail out the wealthy, leaving the average taxpayer deep in the hole, against the clear will of the majority.

Photo Gallery: Iceland's Deeply Unpopular Payback Der Spiegel

WSJ Iceland's president vetoed a bill to reimburse the U.K. and the Netherlands for bailing out depositors of a failed Icelandic bank, throwing into question the international plan to rescue the island nation's banks and casting doubts on its bid to join the European Union.

President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson on Tuesday cited massive public opposition in his decision to reject the bill, which was approved in late December by the Icelandic parliament after months of wrangling.

Iceland's president is the head of state, but rarely wields real executive power.

The veto was only the second time since Iceland's independence from Denmark in 1944 that a president used that authority.

Under Iceland's constitution, the bill -- which calls for nearly $6 billion in repayment ( The money represents 40 per cent of the country's gross domestic product via Times Online, see also Wikipedia ) over 15 years, plus interest -- will be put to a public referendum.

Opinion polls suggest it has little chance. ( 70% against )

But without the payback, Iceland may lose or delay access to badly needed bailout money from the International Monetary Fund and Nordic neighbors. The IMF has approved $2.1 billion in

British and Dutch authorities were stern. The U.K. Treasury said Britain "expects Iceland to live up to its obligations."

"We are very disappointed about the decision," said a Dutch finance ministry spokesman. "Iceland has the obligation to pay back the money."

Almost since the onset of the financial-system collapse in October 2008, Icelanders have blamed a cadre of greedy bankers for turning a prosperous nation into an international economic pariah.

There is strong resistance to piling debt on ordinary citizens to undo the bankers' mess. The bill would have seen Iceland repay the U.K. £2.35 billion ($3.79 billion) and the Netherlands [euro €1.32 billion ($1.89 billion) over 15 years.

That amounts to nearly $20,000 for each of the 300,000 Icelanders.

The October 2008 collapse of one bank, Landsbanki Islands, triggered the trouble.

Hundreds of thousands of British and Dutch depositors, wooed by high interest rates, had placed money with Landsbanki through an Internet arm operating in those countries called Icesave

Under European financial rules, Iceland was required to maintain deposit insurance for those customers, but the collapse of all three of the island's big banks swamped the tiny insurance program. Britain and the Netherlands stepped in to cover their own citizens, and then demanded the money back from Iceland.

Eiríkur Svavarsson, a spokesman for InDefence, a group of Icelanders that organized the petition, said the country would honor its debts but would do so "in line with its economic strength."

It isn't clear how badly Mr. Grímsson's veto will disrupt the international aid on which Iceland depends. The IMF has said its funding isn't directly tied to an Icesave resolution, but notes that other lenders have made that condition, and it is reluctant to put money forward if others don't.

After the veto, Fitch Ratings cut Iceland's long-term foreign-currency credit rating to junk and said the future outlook was negative. Fitch also cut the long-term local-currency rating to BBB-plus.


But the presidential rebuke is being described as a momentous decision for Iceland. It also highlights a widening rift between European governments — pressed by bond investors, ratings agencies and the International Monetary Fund to cut budgets and shrink deficits — and their recession-battered citizenry.
Late last month, the constitutional court in Latvia vetoed a move by the government there to cut pensions in line with an I.M.F.-sponsored austerity package. That development threatens the I.M.F. agreement and the country’s ties with foreign creditors.

Governments in Ireland, Greece and even Britain are also finding it difficult to satisfy both bond investors and voters

> I highly recommend to read the official declaration..... Well said!

> Empfehle sich die offizielle Deklaration im Wortlaut durchzulesen..... Klasse und einleuchtend logisch!

Ice Land Declaration

> Here a very good clip how from 2008 how Iceland got into deep deep troubles.....

> Hier ein sehenswerter Clip aus dem Jahr 2008 der schön aufzeigt wie Island in den Abgrund stürzen konnte.....

> I just couldn´t resist to post this Kaupthing Bank commercial..... You cannot make this up...... Enjoy if you are not an Icelander.....

> Kann mir nicht verkneifen nochmal die inzwischen berühmte Werbung der Kaupthing Bank zu bringen..... Tragisch genial! Für alle die nicht Isländer sicher ein Vergnügen......

H/T Ultimi Barbarorum

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Blogger jmf said...

Iceland/Greece CDS Chart FT Alphaville

11:42 AM  
Blogger jmf said...

Testing Taxpayers' Pain Threshold WSJ

Global authorities repeatedly have said they will do whatever it takes to combat the credit crisis and recession. But are taxpayers prepared to pay whatever it takes?

For some, like Latvia, Iceland and Ireland, austerity budgets already are in place; for others, the pain still lies ahead. Investors should watch out for clashes between the social contract governments have with citizens and the market contracts governments have with lenders and investors.

But similar questions about how much pain the economy and voters can bear in repairing the damage caused by the crisis will confront many governments in 2010. Not least among them are Greece, where doubts remain over the authorities' political will to meet bond-market expectations, and the U.K., where gilt investors are assuming that a new government will take swift action on the deficit.

The risk for investors is that either politicians or voters balk as the bill for the crisis, in the shape of higher taxes and lower public spending, comes due for payment.

10:04 PM  

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