Friday, October 23, 2015

Iceland: Sentences its 26th Banker To Prison - Reykjavik Rising : Problems and Prospects in Iceland

Democracy and Class Struggle says the Icelandic Pots and Pans Rebellion a grassroots movement was hijacked by Liberals and there have been serious setbacks in Iceland as well as some victories. 

It should not be called a revolution but a rebellion that has largely but not exclusively been integrated into the political system.

The idea that a peaceful Pots and Pans revolution can see away capitalism is a myth spread by social democrats and reformists and the Film Reykjavik Rising is a serious attempt to examine the failures in Iceland and not just project fake "revolutionary" successes.

The presence of Danish NATO Commando's off  Reykjavik during the storming of the Icelandic Parliament at the request of Icelandic Government  should tell us all we need to know about how a genuine anti capitalist revolution will be met in Iceland - it is a lesson Icelanders have learnt and so should we.

The Following Report is from US Uncut

In a move that would make many capitalists’ head explode if it ever happened here, Iceland just sentenced their 26th banker to prison for their part in the 2008 financial collapse.

In two separate Icelandic Supreme Court and Reykjavik District Court rulings, five top bankers from Landsbankinn and Kaupping — the two largest banks in the country — were found guilty of market manipulation, embezzlement, and breach of fiduciary duties. Most of those convicted have been sentenced to prison for two to five years. The maximum penalty for financial crimes in Iceland is six years, although their Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments to consider expanding sentences beyond the six year maximum.

After the crash in 2008, while congress was giving American banks a $700 billion TARP bailout courtesy of taxpayers, Iceland decided to go in a different direction and enabled their government with financial supervisory authority to take control of the banks as the chaos resulting from the crash unraveled.

Back in 2001, Iceland deregulated their financial sector, following in the path of former President Bill Clinton. In less than a decade, Iceland was bogged down in so much foreign debt they couldn’t refinance it before the system crashed.

Almost eight years later, the government of Iceland is still prosecuting and jailing those responsible for the market manipulation that crippled their economy. Even now, Iceland is still paying back loans to the IMF and other countries which were needed just to keep the country operating.

When Iceland’s President, Olafur Ragnar Grimmson was asked how the country managed to recover from the global financial disaster, he famously replied,

“We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the poor, and we didn’t introduce austerity measures like you’re seeing in Europe.”

Meanwhile, in America, not one single banking executive has been charged with a crime related to the 2008 crash and U.S. banks are raking in more than $160 billion in annual profits with little to no regulation in place to avoid another financial catastrophe.


Filmed in Reykjavik between 2012 and 2014, the documentary meets the instigators of the changes and follows the most important National Referendum in Iceland’s history.

Giving the Icelandic people the opportunity to decide whether to support a constitution that had been created through a popular grassroots movement.

Through this we explore the Icelanders’ story of their nation and the changes but also what lessons can be learned globally from their experiences.

In light of a growing international trend towards grassroots movements crossing over into mainstream politics.

This documentary is a timely portrayal of one such movement and their struggle to change the face of democracy.


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