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Thread: Why Iceland Should Be in the News But Is Not

  1. #31
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    An Italian radio programís story about Icelandís on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world.
    Not foreign coverage?

    Our media talks about Israel, Iran, and Israel and Iran every single day.



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  3. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    The US Constitutional Convention delegates were a group of elites. Most were highly educated and wealthy.
    OTC, few of them were as well educated as the typical members of Iceland's constitutional committee. And they were selected largely for the coincidence of their interests with those of the wealthy landed elite.

  4. #33

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    Sadly, this article is wrong. More on this here: http://grapevine.is/Features/ReadArt...ing-Revolution

    But this gives me an idea. Why don't we scrap the "Free State Project" idea, and go bigger. The "Free Country Project", find a small European country, mass move, revolt against the government, and set up a new government with a new constitution

    Just got an awesome idea from my dad. Get 1000 people to move to canada and buy 1 acre of land. That becomes a thousand acres of land. Secede from Canada, and set up a new form of government
    Last edited by jcannon98188; 02-01-2012 at 08:29 PM.

  5. #34

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    derp suddenly I see the "edit post" button.

  6. #35

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    You'd have to pick a really small country and Iceland is the least populated one in Europe. The only other two countries even close are Malta(which I'd prefer over Iceland any day and Luxembourg. But these two still have +400.000 people so good luck unbrainwashing that many zombies.
    My personality type: INTJ - please forgive my weaknesses (Not naturally in tune with others feelings; may be insensitive at times, tend to respond to conflict with logic and reason, tend to believe I'm always right, tend to be unwilling or unable to accept blame )

  7. #36
    Member donnay's Avatar
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    Iceland's Viking Victory

    By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

    Congratulations to Iceland.

    Fitch has upgraded the country to investment grade BBB – with stable outlook, expecting government debt to peak at 100pc of GDP.

    The OECD's latest forecast said growth will be 2.4pc this year, after 2.9pc in 2011.

    Unemployment will fall from 7pc last year to 6.1pc this year and then 5.3pc in 2013.

    The current account deficit was 11.2pc in 2010. It will shrink to 3.4pc this year, and will be almost disappear next year.

    The strategy of devaluation behind capital controls has rescued the economy. (Yes, I know there is a dispute about exchange controls, but that is a detail.) The country has held its Nordic welfare together and preserved social cohesion. It is slowly prospering again, though private debt weighs heavy.

    Nobody is forcing the elected government out of office or appointing technocrats as prime minister. The Althingi sits untrammeled in its island glory, the oldest parliament in the world (930 AD).

    The outcome is a vindication of sovereign currencies and national central banks able to respond to shocks.

    The contrast with the unemployment catastrophe and debt-deflation spirals across Europe's arc of depression is by now crystal clear. Those EMU shroud-wavers who persist in arguing that exit from the Europe would be suicidal will have to start coming up with a better argument.

    Is it now so clear the Iceland will join the EU and the euro? Don't bet on it.

    Here is the Fitch text:

    Fitch Ratings has upgraded Iceland's Long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'BBB-' from 'BB+' and affirmed its Long-term local currency IDR at 'BBB+'. Its Short-term foreign currency IDR has also been upgraded to 'F3' from 'B' and its Country Ceiling to 'BBB-' from 'BB+'. The Outlooks on the Long-term ratings are Stable.

    "The restoration of Iceland's Long-term foreign currency rating to investment grade reflects the progress that has been made in restoring macroeconomic stability, pushing ahead with structural reform and rebuilding sovereign creditworthiness since the 2008 banking and currency crisis," says Paul Rawkins, Senior Director in Fitch's Sovereign Rating Group.

    "Iceland has successfully exited its IMF programme and gained renewed access to international capital markets. A promising economic recovery is underway, financial sector restructuring is well-advanced, while public debt/GDP appears to be close to peaking on the back of a robust fiscal consolidation programme," added Rawkins.

    As the first country to suffer the full force of the global financial crisis, Iceland successfully completed a three-year IMF-supported rescue programme in August 2011. Despite some setbacks along the way, the programme laid the foundations for renewed access to international capital markets in mid-2011 and an encouraging rebound in economic growth to 3% for 2011 as a whole. Flexible labour and product markets and a floating exchange rate have facilitated the correction of external imbalances and contained the rise in unemployment, while the financial system has shrunk to one fifth of its former size.

    Iceland has been among the front runners on fiscal consolidation in advanced economies: the primary deficit has contracted from 6.5% of GDP in 2009 to 0.5% in 2011 and Iceland appears to be on track to attain primary fiscal surpluses from 2012 and headline surpluses from 2014.

    Fitch believes that gross general government debt may have peaked at around 100% of GDP in 2011 (excluding potential Icesave liabilities); net debt is significantly lower at around 65% of GDP, reflecting appreciable deposits at the Central Bank (CBI). Barring further shocks, Iceland should see a sustained reduction in its public debt/GDP ratio from 2012, assuming economic recovery continues and the government adheres to its medium term fiscal targets. Ample general government deposits at the CBI and record foreign exchange reserves
    ameliorate near-term fiscal financing concerns. However, the risk of additional contingent liabilities migrating to the sovereign's balance sheet remains high.

    Iceland's unorthodox crisis policy response has succeeded in preserving sovereign creditworthiness in the face of unprecedented financial sector distress. However, legacy issues remain, notably the protracted dispute over Icesave, an offshore branch of the failed Landsbanki that accepted foreign exchange deposits in the UK and the Netherlands, and the slow unwinding of capital controls imposed in 2008.

    The impact of Icesave on Iceland's sovereign creditworthiness has diminished over time and Landsbanki has begun to remunerate deposit liabilities. Nonetheless, Fitch considers that Icesave still has the capacity to raise public debt by 6%-13% of GDP, should an EFTA Court ruling go against Iceland. Resolution of Icesave will be important for restoring normal relations with external creditors and removing this uncertainty for public finances.

    Capital controls continue to block repatriation of USD3bn-USD4bn of non-resident investment in ISK-denominated public debt and deposit instruments. Fitch acknowledges that Iceland's exit from capital controls promises to be lengthy, given the underlying risks to macroeconomic stability, fiscal financing and the newly restructured commercial banks' deposit base.

    So far, Iceland has been relatively unaffected by the eurozone sovereign debt crisis and, although growth is expected to slow to 2%-2.5% in 2012-13, Fitch does not expect Iceland to slip back into recession. However, the private sector remains heavily indebted – household debt exceeds 200% of disposable income and corporate debt 210% of GDP – highlighting the need for further domestic debt restructuring, while the key export sector has been held back by capacity constraints and a lack of investment exacerbated in part by the slow unwinding of capital controls.

    Fitch says that future sovereign rating actions will take a broad range of factors into account including continued economic recovery and fiscal consolidation and progress towards public and external debt reduction. Iceland is still a relatively high income country with standards of governance, human development and ease of doing business more akin to a high grade sovereign than low investment grade. Accelerated private sector domestic debt restructuring, a progressive unwinding of capital controls, normalisation of relations with external creditors and enduring monetary and exchange rate stability would help to further advance Iceland's investment grade status.
    Last edited by donnay; 02-20-2012 at 10:27 AM.
    "Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace." ~ Rod Serling

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  8. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    Why Iceland Should Be in the News But Is Not

    By Deena Stryker

    An Italian radio programís story about Icelandís on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt. The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

    [See also Lesley Riddoch on the High North here - or Mike Small on Scotland in Europe here]

    * Both editor and author are aware of mistakes in this piece which are due to mistranslation from Italian Ė apologies

    As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Hereís why:

    Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the countryís banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors. But as investments grew, so did the banksí foreign debt. In 2003 Icelandís debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent. The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro. At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

    Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution. But only after much pain.

    Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures. The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.

    Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign. Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to its demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros. This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeerís back.

    What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Icelandís leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Icelandís citizens responsible for its bankersí debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.

    Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country. As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF. The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: ďWe were told that if we refused the international communityís conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North. But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North.Ē (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)

    In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.

    But Icelanders didnít stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money. (The one in use had been written when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, in 1918, the only difference with the Danish constitution being that the word Ďpresidentí replaced the word Ďkingí.)

    To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituentís meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.

    Some readers will remember that Icelandís ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamondís book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution. And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat.

    They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.

    Thatís why it is not in the news anymore.

    Originally published in the excellent SACSIS (with thanks)
    This is why I am doing my presentation for my advertising class on Iceland.
    "I am, therefore I'll think" - Ayn Rand

  9. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    Why Iceland Should Be in the News But Is Not

    By Deena Stryker

    An Italian radio programís story about Icelandís on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt. The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

    [See also Lesley Riddoch on the High North here - or Mike Small on Scotland in Europe here]

    * Both editor and author are aware of mistakes in this piece which are due to mistranslation from Italian Ė apologies

    As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Hereís why:

    Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the countryís banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors. But as investments grew, so did the banksí foreign debt. In 2003 Icelandís debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent. The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro. At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

    Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution. But only after much pain.

    Geir Haarde, the Prime Minister of a Social Democratic coalition government, negotiated a two million one hundred thousand dollar loan, to which the Nordic countries added another two and a half million. But the foreign financial community pressured Iceland to impose drastic measures. The FMI and the European Union wanted to take over its debt, claiming this was the only way for the country to pay back Holland and Great Britain, who had promised to reimburse their citizens.

    Protests and riots continued, eventually forcing the government to resign. Elections were brought forward to April 2009, resulting in a left-wing coalition which condemned the neoliberal economic system, but immediately gave in to its demands that Iceland pay off a total of three and a half million Euros. This required each Icelandic citizen to pay 100 Euros a month (or about $130) for fifteen years, at 5.5% interest, to pay off a debt incurred by private parties vis a vis other private parties. It was the straw that broke the reindeerís back.

    What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Icelandís leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Icelandís citizens responsible for its bankersí debts, and accepted calls for a referendum.

    Of course the international community only increased the pressure on Iceland. Great Britain and Holland threatened dire reprisals that would isolate the country. As Icelanders went to vote, foreign bankers threatened to block any aid from the IMF. The British government threatened to freeze Icelander savings and checking accounts. As Grimsson said: ďWe were told that if we refused the international communityís conditions, we would become the Cuba of the North. But if we had accepted, we would have become the Haiti of the North.Ē (How many times have I written that when Cubans see the dire state of their neighbor, Haiti, they count themselves lucky.)

    In the March 2010 referendum, 93% voted against repayment of the debt. The IMF immediately froze its loan. But the revolution (though not televised in the United States), would not be intimidated. With the support of a furious citizenry, the government launched civil and penal investigations into those responsible for the financial crisis. Interpol put out an international arrest warrant for the ex-president of Kaupthing, Sigurdur Einarsson, as the other bankers implicated in the crash fled the country.

    But Icelanders didnít stop there: they decided to draft a new constitution that would free the country from the exaggerated power of international finance and virtual money. (The one in use had been written when Iceland gained its independence from Denmark, in 1918, the only difference with the Danish constitution being that the word Ďpresidentí replaced the word Ďkingí.)

    To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituentís meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.

    Some readers will remember that Icelandís ninth century agrarian collapse was featured in Jared Diamondís book by the same name. Today, that country is recovering from its financial collapse in ways just the opposite of those generally considered unavoidable, as confirmed yesterday by the new head of the IMF, Christine Lagarde to Fareed Zakaria. The people of Greece have been told that the privatization of their public sector is the only solution. And those of Italy, Spain and Portugal are facing the same threat.

    They should look to Iceland. Refusing to bow to foreign interests, that small country stated loud and clear that the people are sovereign.

    Thatís why it is not in the news anymore.

    Originally published in the excellent SACSIS (with thanks)
    That's pretty much the scenario I day dream about in the near future of America...except with RP leading the charge in the WH. Taking back our sovergnty and arresting the heads of banking institutions. Wipe out the ill-gotten debts and arrest the criminals. This whole Iceland thing should be made into a documentary easily digestible and understandable by the people so they could envision the possibilities of taking back our freedom also.

  10. #39
    Member donnay's Avatar
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    I wanted to bump this thread with this news about Iceland:

    Iceland rises further into investment grade status


    Ratings agency Fitch says Iceland has gained renewed access to international markets

    Phillip Inman Economics correspondent
    The Guardian, Thursday 14 February 2013 14.01 EST

    Iceland's rehabilitation after several years as a pariah in the global financial markets gathered pace last night after ratings agency Fitch said the island nation's debts had moved further into investment grade status.

    Fitch said Iceland's debts had been upgraded to BBB – from the lowest rung of the investment grade category, BBB- – after a strong recovery from the financial crisis.

    Reykjavik's meteoric recovery comes after its 300,000 residents were told they would be locked out of the world's financial markets for decades after they refused to rescue a group of bankrupt banks in 2008.

    Unlike Ireland, Portugal and Spain, the Icelandic government let the country's banks become insolvent rather than spend tens of billions of pounds on bailout funds.

    Ireland, which spent more than €40bn rescuing its banks, recently re-negotiated a series of loans with the EU that will mean its debt payments stretch beyond 2050.

    Spain could still be forced to accept an EU bailout after a further deterioration in the financial stability of its major banks, which have only recently revealed the full extent of they bad loans they made in the run up to the banking crisis.

    Paul Rawkins, senior director in Fitch's Sovereign Rating Group, said: "The restoration of Iceland's long-term foreign currency rating to investment grade reflects the progress that has been made in restoring macroeconomic stability, pushing ahead with structural reform and rebuilding sovereign creditworthiness since the 2008 banking and currency crisis.

    "Iceland has successfully exited its IMF programme and gained renewed access to international capital markets. A promising economic recovery is under way, financial sector restructuring is well-advanced, while public debt/GDP appears to be close to peaking on the back of a robust fiscal consolidation programme."

    At the time of the banking debacle, Iceland was lauded by economists, including Princeton Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman, who advocated that other countries follow suit and refuse to indemnify bank creditors from insolvent banks.

    Krugman said markets would be more forgiving when the situation was stabilised.

    Iceland's population accepted steep cuts in pay and government services as the price of the bailout, but unlike their European counterparts, have escaped with only relatively small debts.

    Since it paid back the IMF loans in August 2011 it has increased exports and stabilised the government's finances. Growth in 2011 reached 3%.

    Fitch said that flexible labour and product markets and a floating exchange rate have facilitated the correction of external imbalances and contained the rise in unemployment, while the financial system has shrunk to one fifth of its former size, making the banking system safer.

    • This article was amended on 15 February 2013 because the original text and headline suggested that Fitch had upgraded Iceland's debt from junk status to investment grade status.
    "Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace." ~ Rod Serling

    "Cops today are nothing but an armed tax collector" ~ Frank Serpico

    "To be normal, to drink Coca-Cola and eat Kentucky Fried Chicken is to be in a conspiracy against yourself."

    "People that don't want to make waves sit in stagnant waters. "

  11. #40

  12. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcannon98188 View Post
    Sadly, this article is wrong. More on this here: http://grapevine.is/Features/ReadArt...ing-Revolution

    But this gives me an idea. Why don't we scrap the "Free State Project" idea, and go bigger. The "Free Country Project", find a small European country, mass move, revolt against the government, and set up a new government with a new constitution

    Just got an awesome idea from my dad. Get 1000 people to move to canada and buy 1 acre of land. That becomes a thousand acres of land. Secede from Canada, and set up a new form of government
    Far more realistic than FSP.
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    • Libertarians need to stop deluding themselves that people WANT them. They don't. They wont free healthcare, free soc sec, free meds, free education,...at anyone but themselves expense.
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