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View Diary: Southern Europe "faced with a societal explosion" (227 comments)

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  •  In what manner? (0+ / 0-)

    FYI, I live in Iceland.

    •  Just looking at the country's response (0+ / 0-)

      to being bullied by the forces of fascism into signing away their futures in exchange for credit. Biting the bullet and moving forward would seem to be a much better response than taking their "rescues" and turning into a nation of debt slaves.

      I'm not totally familiar, mind you, with the problems in Iceland, just that its refusal to accept austerity as it's presented to other nations in the European Union and its exploration of alternatives that take better advantage of its unique characteristics (geothermal power, journalistic freedom, etc.) seems to make a lot more sense than rolling over and selling your nation's heritage and your people's futures to the international bankers that robbed you blind to begin with.

      The whole point, after all, is creating a bubble to burst and then buying up what's left at pennies on the dollar until you own everything and everyone. It's nice not to be for sale.

      Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

      by trevzb on Mon Mar 04, 2013 at 08:15:46 AM PST

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      •  Iceland *did* do austerity (0+ / 0-)

        Not because of Icesave, but because of the debt crisis in general, which was much bigger than Icesave.  It was half made up with revenue and half with austerity.  We're the IMF's latest poster child.  And heavily indebted now.  And lots of stuff here was bought for pennies on the dollar.

        The Icesave case was separate and just a classic example of big nations trying to bully little ones.  Britain especially has been doing it to us for a long time, there's nothing new here.  We were compliant with banking law (as was later proven at the EFTA court).  The law mandated that banking accounts be insured.  We created a fund to insure the accounts that the banks had to pay into in order to insure them.  Nobody had a problem with that alternative approach until the financial crisis hit and the fund went bankrupt.  All of the sudden, no, hey, you implicitly guaranteed it yourselves, so pay up.  It was absurd.  And now they and the ESB are stuck with the court costs.  So pbpbpbbpbppbb!  ;)

        But it should be reiterated, this is nothing like the banking crises elsewhere.  In fact, nothing about the Icelandic crisis was.  Most notably, the scale.  For example, remember how big of a deal Lehman Brothers was?  Our three largest banks that went down together had a combined debt liability of about half of Lehman's.  But the US has 1000 times as many people as Iceland.  That's how extreme our crash was.  Our stock market practically vanished, there were only a small handful of companies on it that didn't go bankrupt.  We also have an unusual loan system, and a historically-unstable free-floating currency.  Which allowed part of the national problems to get passed onto becoming individual problems via the currency collapse, which halved savings, doubled debts, and dramatically decreased everyone's buying power (most goods here are imported).

        And Iceland won't exactly win any prizes for being number one in press freedom.  Let's not forget the case last year, for example, of the journalist convicted of libel and upheld by the Supreme Court (later overturned at the ECHR) for reporting on what workers said conditions were like in the (law-skirting) strip club they worked at.  Sometimes I don't know what our Supreme Court is smoking.  The most recent one that blows me away is when a gang attacked a woman and one of the attackers started fingering her, it was ruled to not be sexual assault because "his goal wasn't sexual pleasure".  I mean, WTF?  But I'm getting a bit offtopic here.

        •  I stand corrected (0+ / 0-)

          I was under the impression that Iceland had opted for a path of default and was in the process of rebuilding from that.

          Oversimplified reporting, I guess. Didn't mean to presume to speak for your country.

          Atlas shrugged. Jesus wept.

          by trevzb on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:41:05 AM PST

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