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Iceland Sentences Bankers to a Combined 74 Years in Prison

    The Icelandic countryside. (Lars MS / CC BY 2.0)


Iceland has sentenced its 26th banker to prison for the official’s role in the 2008 financial collapse.

The move is representative of Iceland’s post-2008 decision to diverge from the orthodox neoliberal economic thinking of other Western countries, particularly the United States, which bailed out failed banks with $700 billion of taxpayer money.

In 2001, Iceland followed U.S. president Bill Clinton’s lead and deregulated its financial sector. Now the country exercises its proper authority over the activity of banks.

James Woods reports at U.S. Uncut:

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. …

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.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

Alexander Reed Kelly
Former Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

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