With admiration, many have been observing Iceland’s handling of the banking crisis that jolted the entire world in recent years. Now experiencing a unique economic recovery, the Icelandic public became aware in 2008 that the nation’s private banks had borrowed some $120 billion dollars, ten times the size of Iceland’s economy, creating an economic bubble which forced housing prices to double, and saddled the nation’s people with debt. Continue reading »
A geophysics professor from the University of Iceland has warned people not to travel up Hekla volcano in South Iceland as it could erupt at any moment.
Iceland has had a difficult past few months politically, as its Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunlaugsson became the first casualty of the Panama Papers.
Economically however, the story is more upbeat, as the country has rebounded since the financial crisis. The Icelandic Krona has stabilized against the Euro, the rate of change in inflation has slowed, and the country has recorded year-over-year growth in GDP each year since 2011.
However, in a shocking turn of events, a law passed on May 22 by Iceland’s parliament is offering the foreign holders of about $2.3 billion worth of krona-denominated bonds a choice of either selling out in June at a below-market exchange rate, or have the money they receive upon maturity be impounded indefinitely in low interest bank accounts. In other words, Iceland is trying to kick out foreign investors. Continue reading »
Iceland’s anti-establishment Pirate Party continues to lead nationwide polls as the most popular choice for the next elections. The party — whose policies include internet freedom, drug decriminalisation, and open democracy — has consistently led the polls for the last year and, as a result, has secured more funding than any of its rivals.
The 2008 financial crisis hit Iceland hard. The following year, the krona was devalued by around 50%, unemployment doubled, and capital controls were introduce. Miraculously, the country rose from the ashes to become one of Europe’s top performers in terms of growth. More recently, the political establishment has been in turmoil since three government ministers were implicated in the global Panama Papers scandal. Continue reading »
It’s happened before in history, and with great success, but it has also prompted a violent backlash from the elites…
Back in 1914, the Bradbury Pound was introduced by the UK government as an ’emergency measure’ to bolster a failing economy.
It was a huge success. The banking elite were unhappy, however and panicked – before managing to wrestle control of the money supply afterwards. Continue reading »
The most fascinating and encouraging political movement occurring anywhere on earth at the moment is taking place in the tiny nation of Iceland. No, it has nothing to do with the recent resignation of the country’s Prime Minister after it was discovered via the Panama Papers that he and his wife owned Icelandic bank debt through an undisclosed offshore vehicle. What I’m referring to is the exponential popularity of the less than four-year-old “Pirate Party.”
The Prime Minister’s office in Iceland has just issued a press statement in English to the international press saying that the Prime Minister has not resigned, merely stepped aside for an unspecified amount of time and will continue to serve as the Chairman of the Progressive Party.
The press release is as follows:
Prime Minister of Iceland very proud of Government’s success – suggests Progressive Party Vice-Chairman take over the office of Prime Minister for an unspecified amount of time. Continue reading »
Three jailed Kaupthing bankers will be freed today due to a change in legislation.
Former Kaupthing Chairperson of the Board Sigurður Einarsson, former Kaupthing Luxembourg CEO Magnús Guðmundsson and former 10% owner of Kaupthing Ólafur Ólafsson will all be released from Kvíabryggja prison today, Stundin reports, on account of a change to the law. They will instead move to a halfway house, Vernd, where they will have to return every night but will otherwise be free. A member of parliament has criticised the legislation is being “handcrafted” for these bankers. Continue reading »
We suspect more than a few ‘prosecuted’ bankers will be smiling wryly today as, following the exposure of his offshore financial dealings – revealed in the Panama Papers – Iceland’s embattled Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunlaugsson has resigned. Despite earlier refusal to step down, the decision, which was reported by national broadcaster RUV, followed street protests that attracted thousands of Icelanders angered by the alleged tax evasion.
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H/t reader squodgy:
David Cameron is facing calls for urgent action against tax havens in UK overseas territories and Crown Dependencies, as Britain was revealed to be at the heart of a shadowy global network of companies used by the super-rich to hide their wealth.
As tax authorities around the world were spurred to action by the release of 11.5m documents leaked from the secretive Panama law firm Mossack Fonseca, revealing how it helped clients dodge taxes and international sanctions, UK campaigners for tax justice reacted with dismay as it emerged that half of the companies exposed were incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Continue reading »
This passing winter seems to be the coldest measured winter since 1995 according to Meteorologist Trausti Jónsson. Visir reports about new data Jónsson compiled and published on his blog, showing the average temperatures in the months of December, January and February of 2015-2016 to be lower than they have been since 1995. The International winter of 2015 – 2016 was the coldest particularly up-country and it was only measured slightly colder in 1995. Reykjavik is however experiencing much the same temperatures on average as last winter and also in 2000. Continue reading »
Expected to hit during the middle of next week.
More than a foot (30 cm) of snow in some areas
LaPorte County placed under state of emergency due to heavy snowfall, downed power lines.
Some areas received nearly a foot (30 cm) of snow.
3rd year in a row
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“I am tall but the snow reached up to my waist.”
5 Feb 2016 – All schools are closed in Patreksfjörður in the West Fjords due to heavy snowfall last night. An avalanche alert is still on in the small town. “We’re totally snowed in,” says director of the town council Ásthildur Sturludóttir. “I am tall but the snow reached up to my waist.” Continue reading »
The video below shows coverage of how Iceland chose a very different way of stopping the crisis of 2008 from the rest of the European countries. The Iceland government made a conscious decision to hear the requests of the population, and to put politicians and bankers on the bench of the accused three years after their financial excesses sank one of the most prosperous economies in 2008. The result was the government of Iceland forgave the mortgage debts for much of its population. Continue reading »
Iceland — First, Iceland jailed its crooked bankers for their direct involvement in the financial crisis of 2008. Now, every Icelander will receive a payout for the sale of one of its three largest banks, Íslandsbanki.
If Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson has his way — and he likely will — Icelanders will be paid kr 30,000 after the government takes over ownership of the bank. Íslandsbanki would be second of the three largest banks under State proprietorship.
– Abnormal summer snow in Iceland (Ice Age Now, July 31, 2015):
The past weekend was exceptionally cold throughout all of Iceland, with snowfall and hail hitting the East and South.
On Sunday, the ground was white with snow all around the highlands in Central Iceland. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
After Iceland suffered a heavy hit in the 2008-2009 financial crisis, which famously resulted in convictions and jail terms for a number of top banking executives, the IMF now says the country has managed to achieve economic recovery—“without compromising its welfare model,” which includes universal healthcare and education. In fact, Iceland is on track to become the first European country that suffered in the financial meltdown to “surpass its pre-crisis peak of economic output”—essentially proving to the U.S. that bailing out “too big to fail” banks wasn’t the way to go. Continue reading »
– Iceland To Take Back The Power To Create Money (The Automatic Earth, March 31, 2015):
Who knew that the revolution would start with those radical Icelanders? It does, though. One Frosti Sigurjonsson, a lawmaker from the ruling Progress Party, issued a report today that suggests taking the power to create money away from commercial banks, and hand it to the central bank and, ultimately, Parliament.
Can’t see commercial banks in the western world be too happy with this. They must be contemplating wiping the island nation off the map. If accepted in the Iceland parliament , the plan would change the game in a very radical way. It would be successful too, because there is no bigger scourge on our economies than commercial banks creating money and then securitizing and selling off the loans they just created the money (credit) with. Continue reading »
– Iceland announces dropping bid to join EU (RT, March 12, 2015):
Iceland has dropped its bid to join the European Union, the Foreign Ministry in Reykjavik says. The announcement follows pledges made by the country’s euro-skeptic government since winning the 2013 election.
Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, the Icelandic foreign minister, said in a statement that he had informed Latvia, the current EU president, and the European Commission that his center-right government had decided to withdraw its application, which was submitted six years ago.
“The EU and Iceland have discussed the country’s position on the status of its bid to join the European Union,” the statement reads. “The government does not intend to resume preparing for EU membership.” Continue reading »
– Iceland reiterates that it will not be joining EU (Ice News, Feb 14, 2015):
Icelandic Foreign Minister Jon Hannibalsson has outlined the reasons why the North Atlantic nation will not be joining the EU.
Despite formal negotiations on the country’s accession into the EU starting back in 2010, citizens were widely split on whether it would be a positive move, and the ruling coalition government was voted into power in 2013 on the promise that it would abandon the talks. Continue reading »
– Iceland Unleashes Confiscatory “Exit Tax” On Wealth Deposits (ZeroHedge, Dec 10, 2014):
While on the one hand, Iceland’s decision to inch towards lifting its capital controls is a positive step, it appears what they give with one hand they are taking with another. Just as we predicted three years ago, the muddle-through has failed and there are only hard choices left and sure enough BCG’s envisioned ‘wealth tax’ appears to be rearing its ugly head once more. As Morgunbladid reports, Iceland plans to impose an exit tax as part of removing capital controls, anticipating all bank assets will be subject to the levy, regardless of whether assets are held in local (ISK) or foreign exchange.
As Bloomberg reports,
Iceland’s plan to impose an exit tax as part of removing capital controls anticipates all bank assets will be subject to levy, regardless of whether assets are held in ISK or FX, Morgunbladid reports without saying how it obtained the information.
Part of program may also include forcing foreign holders of ISK assets to swap ISK at discount to a 30-yr FX bond; bond to carry interest rate less than 3%: Morgunbladid Continue reading »
With the stroke of a pen, President Obama has now set America on the path toward open rebellion and revolt. By declaring that he alone has the right to dictate immigration policy without the legislative approval of Congress, he has committed yet another lawless act in a long series of illegal schemes that cement his position in history as nothing more than a sociopathic liar and destroyer of nations.
President Barack Obama announced an executive order on immigration reform Thursday, which he will sign on Friday. The actions will affect up to 5 million undocumented immigrants in the US, many of whom are the parents or spouses of legal residents.
Obama announced his plan for unilateral action on immigration via a prime-time address from the White House. He will sign the executive order during a rally in Las Vegas on Friday. Because the plan will not be passed by Congress, it could also be easily reversed by a new president after Obama’s term runs out in just over two years.
BREAKING: New York City police commissioner says “accidental discharge” from police officer’s weapon may have killed man in Brooklyn.
— Reuters U.S. News (@ReutersUS) 21. November 2014
Rapid-DNA technology makes it easier than ever to grab and store your genetic profile. G-men, cops, and Homeland Security can’t wait to see it everywhere.
His latest intervention on behalf of the forces of opacity, revolves around the release of a report on CI.A. torture put together by The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is 6,000 pages long and has been five years in the making. Naturally, the Obama Administration is taking painstaking efforts to block its release.
A week ago, we penned “The Real Reason Why Germany Halted Its Gold Repatriation From The NY Fed“, in which we got, for the first time ever, an admission by an official source, namely the bank that knows everything that takes place in Germany – Deutsche Bank – what the real reason was for Germany’s gold repatriation halt after obtaining a meager 5 tons from the NY Fed:
… the gold community paid great attention to the decision of the German Bundesbank to “bring German gold home”. At the beginning of 2013, the Bundesbank announced it would repatriate 300 tonnes of gold stored in the US by 2020. It is well behind schedule, citing logistical difficulties. Yet diplomatic difficulties are more likely to be the chief cause of the delay, especially seeing as the Bundesbank has proven its capacity to organise large-scale gold transports. In the early 2000s, the Bundesbank incrementally repatriated 930 tonnes of German gold held by the Bank of England.
Some took offense with this, pointing out, accurately, that the gold held at the NY Fed in deposit form for foreign institutions had continued to decline into 2014 despite the alleged German halt. Well, today we know the answer: it wasn’t Germany who was secretly withdrawing gold from the NYFed contrary to what it had publicly disclosed.
It was the Netherlands.
In December 1912, no lessor man than J.P.Morgan testified to Congress to “justify Wall Street,” during investigations over alleged manipulation and collusion. The transcript reads like it could have been given yesterday (as nothing ever changes) but at its heart the banker laid out 33 “Morgan Epigrams” which appear – in the ensuing 102 years – have been lost to greed and arrogance… The irony is wondrous: “Securities do not always prove good”, “Money is gold, and nothing else”, “I think manipulation is always bad.”
Roundup is found in 75% of air and water samples. Many farmers drench crops with Roundup right before harvest. About 100 million pounds are applied to U.S. farms and lawns every year, according to the EPA.
Monsanto claims that Roundup is totally safe, and can be dumped on everything without problem.
Is it true?
A study from the Journal of Organic Systems includes the following 12 charts which show the correlation between Roundup (technically known as “glyphosate”) and disease:
The CIA wants to erase tens of thousands of internal emails sent by most covert and counterterror officers after they leave the agency, leading US senators and transparency advocates to fear the plan would mean the loss of vital government records.
It isn’t just our economy that is crumbling. Something is happening to America that no amount of money will be able to fix. Everywhere around us we can see evidence of the social decay that is systematically eating away at the foundations of our society.
The impossible is possible. Never say never. Wall Street bankers are staring agog at headlines coming from Europe where, in Iceland, the former chief executive of one of the largest banks in the country which was involved in crashing the economy in 2008 has been sentenced to jail time. As Valuewalk reports, in receiving a one year prison sentence, Sigurjon Arnason officially became the first bank executive to be convicted of manipulating the bank’s stock price and deceiving investors, creditors and the authorities between Sept. 29 and Oct. 3, 2008, as the bank’s fortunes unwound, crashing the economy with it. It appears he was as shocked by the verdict as Wall Street-ers are, “this sentence is a big surprise to me as I did nothing wrong.” It was likely all for the people’s own good…
Recent polls show pro-default parties growing popular in peripheral euro-area countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain. As Bloomberg Brief’s Maxime Sbaihi notes, in a depressed economic environment, their promises to restructure public debt might soon bring them to power and tempt traditional parties to adopt their ideas. This return of political risk in the euro area doesn’t appear to be priced in by market participants. As Italy’s Beppe Grillo recently exclaimed, “we will leave the Euro and bring down this system of bankers, of scum.”
A homemade sign proclaiming “AIDS, Ebola, Obama – Thanks Africa” caused a commotion in the town of Minden, Nebraska this week after a local man drew the ire of area residents when he erected it on his own property.
A “little” late:
For America’s 44 million senior citizens, plus tens of millions of others who are on the threshold of retirement, last month marked a watershed moment that is worth celebrating. At the end of October, the Federal Reserve announced the first step in returning to a more normal monetary policy. After nearly six years of near-zero interest rates and quantitative easing, the Fed is ending its bond-buying program and has signaled a plan to eventually begin raising the federal-funds rate, raising interest rates to more normal levels by 2017.
U.S. households lost billions in interest income during the Fed’s near-zero interest rate experiment.
The mayor of Jerusalem has called on Israeli authorities to revoke the citizenship of family members of terrorists. This proposal was made in response to growing tensions between Palestinians and Israelis.
A few days ago I posted an article saying that Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano was pumping out 35,000 tons of sulphur dioxide per day, more than twice the amount spewed from all of Europe’s smokestacks.
Turns out that it’s even worse than that.
According to the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service, RUV, some 40,000 to 60,000 tons […]
– TV: US nuclear workers’ brains eaten away, hallucinating, mental capacity of preschooler — Wife films frightened, trembling husband on deathbed — It’s indescribable what they’ve done and they don’t care — They want you to die — Gov’t Experts: It’s allergies from cats or feathers… or B-12 deficiency — Doctor: Quit helping workers get help (VIDEO):
KING 5 News, Oct 14, 2014: Gary Sall… [worked at Hanford] for 28 years… 10 years ago… his brain function got worse and worse. Within 5 years he… could barely speak, hallucinated, and operated on the level of a 4-year-old… Doctors diagnosed him with work-related toxic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disorder… [His wife] Barb documented the suffering in a difficult to watch video taken in 2011… in a hospital bed, trembling and frightened and on a feeding tube… The DOE’s insurer wrote that not Hanford, but alcohol consumption or a B-12 deficiency could be making him sick… He died 3 years ago at the age of 57.
– Twice as much Fukushima radiation near California coast than originally reported; Highest levels found anywhere in Eastern Pacific — Scientist: Very little we can do… It’s unprecedented… God forbid anything else happens — Gundersen: Multiple plumes now along west coast… Will be coming “for century or more” (AUDIO)
Halts shipments of corn, soybeans, wheat, fertilizer, salt and other goods from the most northern reaches of the nation’s busiest waterway.
Another three feet (1 meter) of snow forecast for Buffalo.
More collapses expected. Homeowners and store employees scrambling to remove the snow before rainfall adds even more weight to overloaded roofs.
A bitter war of words between hacker collective Anonymous and the Klu Klux Klan risks spilling over into real violence, with the right-wing hate group allegedly threatening to shoot dead activists wearing the Guy Fawkes mask in southern Missouri.
Around 30 percent of the world’s population is now obese, while 50 percent is expected to fall into the category by 2030. Meanwhile, 5 percent of global deaths each year are linked to the condition, creating a drag on the global economy.
Despite the knee-trembling awesomeness of a double-whammy promise of liquidity, US equity markets ended the week on a decidedly down note. The realization that Draghi’s all talk (no impact on US stocks) and PBOC’s move is not a liquidity surge and has limited impact on the economy left stocks tumbling once the opening OPEX levels had printed. The USD rose notably on the day after EUR plunged under 1.24 on Draghi (USD +0.9% on the week). Despite USD strength, gold rose 1% (as did Silver) on the week, rising for the 3rd week in a row for the first time in 4 months (and the 3rd Friday surge in a row). Oil rose 1% on the week, breaking an 8-week losing streak but Copper prices fell around 0.3% on the week, having given back the kneejerk gains post-PBOC today. Treasury yields dropped after kneejerking higher on PBOC. 30Y at 3.01% had its 2nd lowest weekly close since May 2013. VIX melted down into the close to 13.01. Late-day buying panic lifts stocks off their lows leaving Dow & S&P at all-time recordest highs of all-time ever in history (as small caps closed red).
I stumbled across two mind blowing charts yesterday that had me pondering how generations of Americans had frittered their lives away, spending money they didn’t have on things they didn’t need, utilizing easy to acquire debt, and saving virtually nothing for their futures or a rainy day. We are a nation of Peter Pans who never grew up. While I was driving home from work, one of my favorite Pink Floyd tunes came on the radio and the lyrics to Time seemed to fit perfectly with the charts I had just discovered.
– HFT War Stories: The Algo that Couldn’t Count:
This is the first in MKTSTK’sHFT War Stories series. Submitted anonymously by a high frequency trader. Names of people, places, and products have been omitted:
Algo trading has a way of making your hair turn white. Sometimes it’s the wild market action. The response then is to cut risk and keep on trading. The big losses come from avoidable human errors. Those are the losses you might not come back from.
The trading world is increasingly automated. Every year there are fewer human eyes watching the market at any given time. Traders employ algorithms to cut latency and market impact. Dealers find automation indispensable in quoting thousands of different exchange traded derivatives.
After a frosty reception at the G20 summit in Australia this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin required some much needed rest, at least according to the official explanation given for his conspicuously early departure from the proceedings. All things considered it could have been a lot worse. Russia finds itself in familiar territory after a controversial half-year, highlighted by the bloody and still unresolved situation in Ukraine. Nonetheless, the prospect of further sanctions looms low and Russia’s stores of oil and gas remain high.
While some might scoff at the idea of there even being a bubble in hi-tech start-ups, it appears the massive wall of money that has been thrown at dot-com 2.0 names – all money-losing, social, mobile, cloud name-droppers – has dried up. As The TechCrunch Bubble Index shows, the last 90 days have seen startup-funding announcements collapse over 40% to their lowest level in almost 3 years…
First Mario Draghi made some strong statements speaking in Asia that “It is essential to bring back inflation to target and without delay,” which sent EURUSD tumbling BUT did not spark moves in the S&P 500 (though Gold slipped). It was not until the PBOC cut rates (and sent AUD surging) that the US equity market perked up and started ripping… along with gold and as the morning progressed, gold has kept going as it is clear the Central Banks of the world have only one policy left… (no wonder the Dutch want their gold back)
Tags: Autism, Banking, Barack Obama, California, Cancer, CIA, Climate Change, Crime, DNA, Economy, Environment, FBI, Food, Fukushima, Global News, Global Warming, Glyphosate, Gold, Government, Health, High Frequency Trading, Iceland, Japan, JPMorgan, Meteorology, Monsanto, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Obama administration, Oceans, Politics, Radiation, Roundup, Roundup Ready, Russia, Science, Snow, Society, Stock Market, Surveillance, Technology, Torture, U.S., Volcano, Wall Street, Winter
– Deadly volcanic gases (that aren’t stopping) force Icelanders to stay inside (Ice Age Now, Nov 10, 2014):
The kids at the Graenuvellir kindergarten in Husavik, north Iceland, were kept inside on Nov. 4 to protect them from sulfur-dioxide gases spewing from the Holuhraun lava field near the Bardarbunga volcano, says this article on bloomberg.com.
“The eruption has been going for almost three months and shows no sign of stopping. Red-hot lava now covers 70 sq. km. (27 sq. miles), an area larger than Manhattan. Continue reading »
– Up to 130 meter high lava fountains (RUV, Sep 4, 2014):
Robust activity has been seen in the Holuhraun lava eruption this morning, says volcanologist Armann Hoskuldsson who is monitoring the event. “The highest lava fountains rise up to 130 meters from the craters,” he says. The new lava field is now estimated to be 11 – 12 square kilometers in size. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“They are criminals, pure and simple.
The people are victims of manipulated news so what would be true reactions are dumbed down.
However, the Icelandics have successfully prosecuted their crimals, but surprise surprise, nothing in the MSM on this…..”
– Iceland: Bankers convicted, unemployment down (Angry Bear, Sep 26, 2014):
Remember Iceland? During the high-flying early 2000s, its three main banks went berserk, paying high interest rates to international investors that accumulated deposits equal to more than 100% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and making loans equal to 980% of GDP. When the collapse came, Iceland took a route not taken by Ireland, Spain, and other EU countries: Rather than bail out the banks, the government simply let them go bankrupt. The value of the krona fell by about half, the country was embroiled in disputes with the Netherlands and the United Kingdom over paying off Dutch and British depositors, and it had to take an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan just to stay afloat. Continue reading »
– Bárðarbunga Pollution at Record Level – Residents Warned (Ice Age Now, Sep 13, 2014):
“Like standing behind a truck and inhaling the vapors,” says resident.
In Reyðarfjörður on Iceland’s east coast, sulfur dioxide measured at 4,000 µg/cubicmeter just before 11 PM on Friday night, according to mbl.is.
All residents in the area are advised to keep inside, close window and raise the heat in ovens to keep the air pressure greater inside. Continue reading »