How the men behind Iceland crisis are still calling the shots

by Archie Bland
The Independent [UK]
8 January 2010

As Iceland convulses yet again over the saga of its £ 3.6bn [$5.7 bn US] debt, there are plenty of people in Reykjavik who say that it’s time for a new government. The current lot have had their chance to solve things, they say, and it plainly isn’t working.

Yet there is something unfair about this rebellion: because the current government played no role in creating this mess. Indeed, some of its members were among the few outspoken critics of the era of unbridled capitalism that led to the parlous situation in which Iceland finds itself today.

Consider, stranger still, the fate of those who cheerily paved the way for the bankers to bring Iceland to its knees.

Chief among them is David Oddsson, the prime minister who oversaw the privatisation of the banks that led to the meltdown in 2003, and then went on to spend four years as governor of the central bank.

If that transition seems unlikely enough for a man with no economic training, his more recent move is similarly perplexing: Oddsson is now editor of Morgunbladid, an influential national newspaper. It is as if Tony Blair had stepped down to succeed Mervyn King, only to jack it in in favour of the top job at The Independent.

Sure enough, Morgunbladid’s treatment of the country’s finances has caused some observers to raise an eyebrow…

The article continues at The Independent.

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