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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Keep an Eye on Iceland

In 2008 Iceland's government and banks hit the skids. Things have recovered to some extent- kinda like the US, but many UK and Netherlands folk (about 400,000) lost a bundle in the tumble. Roughly 5.8 billion in US dollars. So the governments of the Netherlands and the UK reimbursed their citizens and held Iceland's goverment accountable for paying them back. Except the Icelanders have rejected by vote two plans for repayment, it's nearly 3 years later, and the UK and the Netherlands want the money. So they're moving to take Iceland to an international court, the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority, a process which could take several years... These deals have been and are going on all over the world; nations bail each other out all the time. But it's not highlighted in the media. Especially in the US, where the vast majority of citizens know more about Charlie Sheen than their own government. I've yet to see a real analysis that encompasses how much each nation owes others and how, when or if anything is paid back. There was a push to write off the debts of "Third World" nations a few years ago. That is apparently over in the wake of "First World" nations falling apart. But wouldn't it be wise to have everyone sit down with their debts and make deals so we can get on with life? Money is a construct; pieces of paper that represent value. What if everyone brought other things of value, things each other needs, and settled matters that way? Wouldn't it make things easier for everyone? If anyone can come up with alternatives, I'm thinking it's Icelanders. They've rejected the referendums put forth by their government twice now. Let's watch how this pans out. p.s. Today, 4/12, a good analysis of the sitch is in the Guardian (I should get paid for referring them all the time)


Geo. said...

I don't think the International Court will impose hard time. Community service is more likely. Iceland will have to wear an orange vest and pick up trash.

Austan said...

If Boy George can do it, anyone can. :)