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Iceland vs Greece: Pick The Winner

Tyler Durden's picture


We showed this chart over the weekend, but it bears repeating simply because in this case, one chart does indeed speak a thousand words. Presenting: unemployment in Iceland and Greece - pick the "just say no to the status quo" winner out.


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Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:21 | 3395429 Croesus
Croesus's picture

<-- Click if you like Gold

<--Click if you like Bernanke

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:30 | 3395440 malikai
malikai's picture

I clicked Bernanke.

..Just because I'm an asshole.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:37 | 3395445 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

yeah assholes....yeah beer....

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:06 | 3395479 TwoShortPlanks
TwoShortPlanks's picture

EuroGhetto.....under the Fourth Reich.

Could end the same way...Rango (AKA Van Rompuy) may 'Top Himself'.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:37 | 3395589 YBNguy
YBNguy's picture

I have not done a ton of research on the Iceland situation, but weren't the bank debts they shrugged off from the IMF, which we funded to a degree? So our banking overlords printed the money in our name than gave it to Iceland. When Iceland said fuck you to the banks they put the loss on us? I realize if we did the same thing (shrugging it off) than there would be no problem, but that is highly unlikely in the Kingdom of the World's Currency.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:13 | 3395674 OutLookingIn
OutLookingIn's picture

Big difference.


Jailed the bankers (ongoing).

Told the banksters "Fuck you!"


Rewarded the bankers.

Bent over for the EU banksters and said "More please!"

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:25 | 3395699 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture
"Iceland vs Greece: Pick The Winner"

Is this a trick question? I think, three years ago+, my very first annoying post was about criminal law and the financial world. How, in the greatest irony, one has overtaken the other. Iceland is a living laboratory (monsters included) showing us the way.

It's not complicated

They just want you to think so 

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:46 | 3396029 Bananamerican
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The looting continues....

I'm not saying Icelanders didn't have the right instincts, but bankers are like've got to get them ALL.

"Then, owners of the old banks were given control over two of the new banks (87% and 95% respectively). The owners of these new banks were called vultures not only because of the steep discount at which the financial assets and claims of the old banks were transferred, but mainly because they already had bought control of the old banks at pennies on the dollar.

The result is that instead of the government keeping the banks and simply wiping them out in bankruptcy, the government kept aside and let vulture investors reap a giant windfall – that now threatens to plunge Iceland’s economy into chronic financial austerity. In retrospect, none of this was necessary. The question is, what can the government do to clean up the mess that it has created by so gullibly taking bad IMF advice?

In the United States, banks receiving TARP bailout money were supposed to negotiate with mortgage debtors to write down the debts to market prices and/or the ability to pay. This was not done. Likewise in Iceland, the vulture funds that bought the bad “old bank” loans were supposed to pass on the debt write-downs to the debtors. This was not done either. In fact, the loan principals continued to be revalued upward in keeping with Iceland’s unique indexing designed to save banks from taking a loss – that is, to make sure that the economy as a whole suffers, even suffering a fatal austerity attack, so that bankers will be “made whole.” This means making a windfall fortune for the vultures who buy bad loans on the cheap.

Is this the future of Europe as well? If so, the present financial crisis will become the great windfall for vulture banks, and for banks in general. Whereas the past few centuries have seen financial crashes wipe out the savings and creditor claims (bonds, bank loans, etc.) that are the counterpart to bad debts, today we are seeing the bad debts kept on the books, but the banks and bondholders that provided the bad loans being made whole at taxpayer expense."


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:40 | 3396500 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

hence the continued criminal approach

good points

One of the Dakota states has a good approach

Like the founders said

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:27 | 3395710 redpill
redpill's picture

Iceland: Banksters rusty, accidentally let it come to a national referendum

Greece and everything since: Avoid referendum at all costs

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:51 | 3396058 Stock Tips Inve...
Stock Tips Investment's picture

Greece's economic situation is very complicated. One of the big differences with Iceland is that most of the population in Greece depended (and depends now) of his government. Most Greeks are paid by their government. But this government is bankrupt and there is little they can do because there is no "private sector" to start pushing the car.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:42 | 3396237 bigkahuna
bigkahuna's picture

Too bad for Greece, this is unsustainable. Any statists out there can f-off, because it has not ever worked nor will it ever work. The unfortunate Greeks are going to have to pop that gov't tittay out of their mouth and start living for real. They either do it theirselves or big brother will do it for them after untold suffering.

The Greek gov't and any other that IS like it, or WANTS to be like it needs to be drug out, hung upside down, and gutted in punishment for the horrors that they empose upon their subjects (civilians).

Real free (not the crony bs of today) markets and personal freedoms are the only type of sustainable attributes. 

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:41 | 3396503 TruthHunter
TruthHunter's picture

"One of the big differences with Iceland is that most of the population in Greece depended (and depends now) of his government."


Bummer... they'd probably be back to 12.5% unemployment instead of 5.5%

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:37 | 3395447 GetZeeGold
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He's the James Dean of ZH.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:52 | 3395467 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:32 | 3395442 Croesus
Croesus's picture

Okay, so Ben Bernanke voted for himself, who's the other one that likes the Chairsatan? Krugman?


(EDIT: Question answered).....just for honesty, you get an upvote! +1

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:56 | 3395475 francis_sawyer
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Then ~ He PRINTED himself 4 more upvotes out of thin air...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:17 | 3395530 Croesus
Croesus's picture


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:19 | 3395926 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

It's up to 8 now, so we must be on 'QEx*2'...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:16 | 3395528 css1971
css1971's picture

I clicked -1, just because it's fucking stupid.



Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:26 | 3395711 Crash Overide
Crash Overide's picture

Iceland bitches!


Told ya so.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:22 | 3395432 bania
bania's picture

just way no to drugs

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:23 | 3395433 cossack55
cossack55's picture

The winner is.........Bhutan

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:31 | 3395582 SMG
SMG's picture

Come on this is easy,  The Global Oligarchs, they always win cause they cheat.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:24 | 3395434 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

Population of Greece is 11.2 million people.

Population of Iceland is 329,000 people.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:41 | 3395452 Mercury
Mercury's picture

You can certainly have devestating unemployment in a small country.

 Just watch what happens next in Cyprus...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:15 | 3395517 css1971
css1971's picture

Cyprus just killed it's bankrupt banks and repudiated a shit load of debt. It's not the rest of Greece. V shaped recovery as the remaining cash & credit get multiplied by the remaining banks.


p.s. Apparently Krugman does read ZH and, even better, feels the need to comment about it on his blog. He must be feeling intellectually threatened or something. How far can a "Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel" winner sink before becoming a laughing stock?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:51 | 3395795 Mercury
Mercury's picture

If you venture into Cyprus RE with that in mind I'm sure everyone at ZH would love to hear of your adventures.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:49 | 3396049 JR
JR's picture

As the euro zone experiment significantly succeeds, the losers are the people of Europe because of their loss in sovereignty, representative government and freedom. And just how spectacular has been Troika's success shows in its growing detriment to the people.

The propaganda line the European Union uses to glorify itself, that of ensuring human rights and democracy, "does not correspond to reality.”  Rather it falsifies its true agenda -- worldwide governance.  The truth , says Counter-Propaganda, is that “economic data clearly shows that since the establishing of the European Union, the economy of its members has been weakening in relation to the rest of the world.”

Your link supports C-P’s claim.

Putting it into perspective, media spin labels Cyprus depositors with more than 100,000 euros as “rich,” meaning it’s okay for Troika to loot their accounts; while the data you link from the RICS Cyprus Property Price Index for Q4 2012 shows that in relation the average cost of a house in Nicosia is 475,409 euro; the overall average cost in Cyprus 384,316. IOW, 100,000 euros hardly makes one "rich" in Cyprus.

And to make matters worse, Cyprus Property News says: “Some pundits predict that there will be double-digit price falls in property prices in some areas of the island in the wake of the 10-billion euro rescue deal reached between Cyprus and the European Union last Monday."

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:12 | 3396135 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Here is Krugman's prediction from 1998 - cutting such a silly figure, it is amazing that anyone pays attention to him:

 The growth of the Internet will slow drastically, as the flaw in "Metcalfe's law"--which states that the number of potential connections in a network is proportional to the square of the number of participants--becomes apparent: most people have nothing to say to each other! By 2005 or so, it will become clear that the Internet's impact on the economy has been no greater than the fax machine's. 

As the rate of technological change in computing slows, the number of jobs for IT specialists will decelerate, then actually turn down; ten years from now, the phrase information economy will sound silly.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:18 | 3396152 JR
JR's picture

Alas, Krugman has never been a forecaster; he’s a philosopher.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:35 | 3396215 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Maybe he and Jim Cramer can get a volume discount buying new running shoes together.

They will need them.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:22 | 3396628 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

His purpose is to make weather bimbos seem more accurate.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:49 | 3396731 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I think he doth protest too much

clothes do not make the man

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:17 | 3395529 Auntie Lo
Auntie Lo's picture

Cyrpus is about 1.1 million people. three points to get an R2!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:20 | 3395538 JimBowie1958
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The key factor being that smaller populations have more control over the democratic legislature, and the bigger a population is, the more corporations and large financial institutions control the legislature.

Plus, the people of Iceland are more of a future event oriented culture, and that seems to be a trait of most northern countries. Maybe the harsh weather conditions them to be so? The highest average IQs in the US are found in states that border Canada, so maybe that is a stronger factor than most care to consider.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:56 | 3395644 tango
tango's picture

NO.  As Diamond and tons of commentators have pointed out, small populations are at extreme risk precisely because they are so small.  They cannot absorb a major hit like a large population (natural disaster, war, disease, economic failure, etc).  

IQ is funny.  For example, repeated studies have shown the average IQ of CHina is higher than the US BUT is is evenly distributed.  There is not that large bell curve that we have.   In other words, all our instincts (language, habits, Culture, Olympics) scream that China is a collectivist culture and genetically, that seems valid.   We have more morons but also more geniuses.  

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:30 | 3395720 JimBowie1958
JimBowie1958's picture

Yes, it is harder for corporations to buy their way into a good ole crony network since the cronies are pesonally known to everyone. But it is true s you say *if* the population gets entirely hoodwinked despite the advantages they have of being on a more personal basis with the cronies, then they are hopeless.

Chinas economics have made their population more reliant on the total community as opposed to each individual reacting to the change in weather for themselves.

Plus, my guess is that the government sort of evens all the results out through its incopmetent educational system.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:40 | 3395751 jayman21
jayman21's picture

Power Distance Index needs to be included along with a few other factors when you want to go through this thought exercise.

click on the righ side thorugh the scores of each attribute and then give some thought about IQ, education, and desired outcome.


For me it is simple.  I have no idea what is best for other people.  We are all different.  I do know when I see someone with Alpha issues.  They try to control everything and know best.  I walk the other direction.  

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:34 | 3396202 Acet
Acet's picture

I've looked at your link and certainly my experience from having lived in Holland, England and Portugal is not reflected in the Power Distance Index for those countries.

The UK is the single most unequal society and has the most ingrained, calcified social stratification of all 3 countries and yet that is not what the PDI shows.

Maybe the PDI measures in the linked website where taken during the 40s or earlier (Portugal was under a Fascists dictatorship back them)?


Similarly I find that the notion that having an extended familiy is anti-individualism to be kinda bollocks. The extended familiy is a safety net, not a straight-jacket: they'll help you out if you need they but won't chain you down. Certainly I see far more individualistic behaviour in today's Portugal, where in response to the crisis, people are striving out to create new businesses or try and make their own success in other countries, than in the UK where people are pretty much drones, all doing the same 9-5 working for the man, seing the same shit on TV (soap operas that last decades) and having the same binge drinking nights out at the Pub on Fridays and Saturdays with very few actually breaking the mold.

Again, maybe it was anti-individualistic 70 years ago in Portugal when almost everybody lived in the countryside and people had tons of kids under the expectation that some would care for them in old age, but it's not like that anymore.


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:53 | 3396750 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

Iceland has one of the highest literacy rates in the world. In the greatest irony, I came across their story following a poet who took on the revolution and became a temporary legislator once they stood up. Democracy is not a passive condition. Nor can it be ignorant and keep its name. Same for capitalism. No wonder they've made big moves to control our food and schools.  

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:46 | 3396964 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

Iceland also has a high tolerance for diversity and individual choices, which may also be attributed to the high literacy rate.  folks like to believe amrka is the country of "rugged individualists" but in reality, amrkn culture is highly punitive of diverse expressions, and the "individual" held to emulate is some tired old loner cowboy Clint Eastwood/John Wayne archetype, and later Gordon Gekko - but the key is to be uni-form in the trajectory, no playing outside the strict rules of the definition.  it's like folks are handed a script as a child, and then continually prodded back into the roles assigned - how that's perceived as "individualism" escapes me, when it's more uniformity evident.

I like jayman21's link, it may not go into more subtle areas, but clicking on the "Uncertainty Avoidance" and "Masculinity" links made me chuckle. . .

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 18:10 | 3397489 jayman21
jayman21's picture

Acet - the main IBM study was done in the 1960s.  The data has probably changed, but the ideas are what I find interesting.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:01 | 3395837 Mercury
Mercury's picture

...more of a future event oriented culture...


Now there’s a handy euphemism.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:27 | 3395562 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Population of USA is 300 million but they are happy to have Ben "The Bust" Bernanke and Jamie "Moneybags" Dimon as their Guardians of Prosperity

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:24 | 3395435 NoWayJose
NoWayJose's picture

Just add a line for estimated Cypriot unemployment and post it on every billboard in Cyprus.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:25 | 3395436 Ribeye
Ribeye's picture

The Cypriot Electricity Company transferred millions of Euro out of the country in the days leading up to the "bailout",

Lol, ye couldn't write this stuff:)

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:48 | 3395461 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

When the lights go out- the Zombie Apocalypse comes knocking...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:14 | 3395520 pods
pods's picture

<rubs Saiga 12>

Charlene is ready.


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:34 | 3395443 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Greece , Ireland etc etc is obviously better off outside the Euro if all debts is in its own currency.


But its important to look at the basis of the Icelandic domestic economy.


Primary industry is much more important in Iceland.


It imports ZERO nat gas and almost no coal.

Diesel is only needed for its fishing fleet.

Discretionary surplus spending can be burned on their 4* 4s


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:44 | 3396024 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

So you would take Ireland out of the eurozone? I presume by converting debt in Irish Pounds? This means deposits, too.

And then? Peg or devalue? And if devalue, how much would be fair, for you?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:57 | 3396078 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Free float would be best but unlikely.


A devaluation against Sterling most likely as we are being driven into surplus regardless.

The buses and trains are empty in Ireland..........

Driving euro countries into surplus to support deficit UK is the worst of all worlds.

Better to use a devalued currency although of course the UK escapes one more time.............its real goods trade deficit in 2012 was 6.9 % of GDP !!!!


The UK is chosing real goods over income anyhow (see their balance of payements data).............most would be happy to see Ireland back into their clutches.


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:10 | 3396126 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

interesting. and if the Irish Pound does not devalue?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:27 | 3396186 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture


Any look at transport data in Ireland would point to a major devaluation.

Most of the transport fuel is used in private cars now...........

Road freight has suffered the biggest decline in Europe.

People still take their kids to school in a car..........

Food imports still remain very high as there can be no local substitution within the Euro monetary and free trade system.


We are exporting hard currency for no reward......

In the age of oil devaluation is not really about exports , its about making internal trade more sustainable

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:34 | 3396213 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

no, I mean it. What if half of the fleeing funds of this world would beg to be in Irish Pounds? And Irish banks would expand? we are in a currency war - what if the Angus suddently looks like the best cattle in the glue factory?

would you be willing to welcome the Emerald Isle Tax Haven, for example?

you are asking "the markets to decide", after all... what if...?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:50 | 3396251 Acet
Acet's picture

It's the short sharp pain of forced devaluations versus the long protracted pain of economic stagnation and decay.

Over the long term the short sharp pain is always better: it's why people with a rotting tooth go to the dentist and have it taken out rather than let it slowly rot in the mouth.

As we saw with Iceland, taking the rotting tooth out hurt for a bit but made it all better after a while, while Greece keeps trying to delay the day of reckoning with mouthwash and painkiller so the rot keeps growing and spreading.

I myself am in favour that Portugal exits the Euro. As I see it, the country will hurt hard for a bit, but it has the local agricultural resources (and the weather) to make it through without too much hurt (devaluation would be a boom to agriculture and turism in Portugal) and in the mid and long term there would be far less pain. Sure, people wouldn't be able to afford to buy quite as many Plasma TVs and Blueray player as before if the New Escudo was worth 2/3 of it's original value - and so what!?

Energy-wise, most of the energy Production in Portugal is hydro anyways and the country is also becoming big in windpower and (I believe) solar.

Please do not confuse leaving the Euro with leaving the EU. The later is the best thing that happened to that country in centuries.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 13:42 | 3396489 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

Acet, I seriously hand-on-hart mean it: it is not a given that a small currency can have the desired devaluation - look around, most are more or less pegged

and the key here is: desired. if you really desire an exact X% devaluation, then it's much more sensible to rediscuss debt and schedule it down by X%

by devaluation, in the medium term you end paying more - that was the pretty universal experience

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 19:18 | 3397691 Acet
Acet's picture

I'm pretty sure leaving the Euro would be a mess, and there is certainly no way it would give any desired devaluation - the value of a New Escudo versus the Euro would end were the economic balance between Portugal and whatever was left of the Eurozone dictates they should end, and on its way there it would undershot and overshot, probably multiple times.

On the other hand, who knows which desired valuation would be the right one? It seems to me that most mainstream economists with statist leanings (i.e. the kind that think they know the right economic values for things, rather than leaving it to the market to find those out) have not exactly shown a stellar track-record during the last 3 decades. Better leave the finding of the right exchange rate to the market.

I very much doubt that a New Escudo would go up versus the Euro: it's not as if Portugal is this industrial powerhouse with deep markets and a long history of the rule of the law. The likellyhood that a Portuguese currency would follow the path of the Swiss Frank is negligible.

As for adjusting down debt, I believe it's too late for that now: the Greek experiment shows that it simply becomes a vicious-cycle of more debt -> more austerity -> collapsing economy -> more debt.

Better go for a full default and Euro exit. It would fuck-up German, French and English banks, but then again their regulators have hardly kept them from taking too many risks and it's hardly the Greek, Irish, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish taxpayer's duty pay for banker bonuses and the buying of politicians and regulators in Germany, France and the UK.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:27 | 3396627 THE DORK OF CORK
THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Angus ?

I don't think so somehow............

Irish Agriculture has a major intermediate consumption problem ( Fertilizer , Diesel , feed)


Irish farmers cannot hire labour at even 1 euro a cut this stuff out.

The Euro is too hard.


No Kerry cattle farms (low input costs) until we leave the euro building.


A MMT like (fiscal) jobs programme would devalue the currency no problem as more resources would flow towards job holders rather then bond holders.


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:35 | 3395444 ConfederateH
ConfederateH's picture

But you completely ignore the point that Greece is vibrant and diverse while Iceland has much more social capital available through its racial and social purity. 

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:18 | 3395533 Icantstopthinki...
IcantstopthinkingaboutNINJAs's picture

By "Social Capital" do you really mean " hot chicks without unibrows?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:14 | 3396137 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

trying to export your... worries?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:38 | 3395451 HulkHogan
HulkHogan's picture

Slow news day, huh ZH?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:49 | 3395462 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Thia may be the most boring day in the market ever, slightly edging out the last day it was open.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:53 | 3395469 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Easter Monday is a 'market closed' holiday in much of southern Europe...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:22 | 3395550 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:46 | 3395459 Brokenbroker
Brokenbroker's picture

If u want to start the process of grexit simply print 100k copies of that chart with minimal commentary and drop off in athens streets

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:08 | 3395505 new game
new game's picture

drop a million charts with a dracama stapled to it; call ben for logistics...

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:32 | 3395986 Oracle of Kypseli
Oracle of Kypseli's picture

TheGreek.Gov has convinced the people that it would be worse especially RE since most Greeks own RE outright.

That  is not necessarily true, but the people are unsure and there is no outcry for exit as they are shell shocked.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:53 | 3395466 Vinny
Vinny's picture

They have to work in Iceland to get by. It's so freaking cold there. In Greece, on the other hand, you don't need fuel to warm your house and you can fish for food or lie around in the sun.

So the question is: Would you rather be employed in Iceland or unemployed in Greece?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:25 | 3395554 Sandmann
Sandmann's picture

Large numbers of young Icelanders emigrated looking for work in Norway

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:27 | 3395564 Winston of Oceania
Winston of Oceania's picture

Yum fish from a sewer laden sea... I'll take the cold and Odin over Zues any day!

Með því er Óðins mun

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 08:56 | 3395474 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Things aren't 100% rosy in Iceland: their Paraliment just rejected a new crowd-sourced Constitution. 

Although, the excommication of their bankers certainly helped.  Now if we could get those damn politicians out of the way!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:25 | 3396178 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

That 'crowd sourced' constitution was engineered by the liberal government to make it easier for Iceland to throw away sovereignty and join the EU and pay bankster debt. It was a trick basically. The new 'constitution' even stated that foreign liabilities (i.e. Icesave) could not be voted on in a referendum.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 15:28 | 3396880 Marco
Marco's picture

Is it this :

If so I don't see where foreign liabilities are exempt from referendum.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:27 | 3395567 IamtheREALmario
IamtheREALmario's picture

I am not surew why anyone would read Krugman's blog, much less visit it. He has not publicly published anything of value in the recent ... hmmm, ever.

Sometimes a worthess shill is simply a worthless shill and not genius in disguise.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:39 | 3396010 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

oh, I visit Krugman's for his views on the EUR - nothing intelligent, I fear, and lot's of "the EUR must die... because I say it... blablabla"

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 09:29 | 3395573 Ribeye
Ribeye's picture


Plus a little "unorthodox" help from the KGB and The Resistance,

The EU is a dead man walking,

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:01 | 3395586 Mototard at Large
Mototard at Large's picture

Recently visited the Exarchia district in Athens, Greece. This is the area where most of the riots you see in Syntagma Square tend to originate.   

Having been at the forefront of the economic downturn and the associated social unrest, Esacrchia may serve as an example to other high density urban areas in Europe and America as the downwardly mobile economy spreads. See more on my visit there at:


When people are in their own community, they can be quite peaceful.But when they are disenfranchised by the central government and placed in the context of their national existence, they can suddenly turn rather violent. There is a lesson in this for all the governments in Europe. In much of urban Europe and America, it is probable that self forming community structures will emerge which are only loosely politically linked to the central authority. This linkage will be primarily though infrastructure such as water and electricity rather than social services and law enforcement. Even the infrastructure links will likely be less centralized than in the past as technology will allows for more efficient localized power production.  Less money will be spent on smart phones and more invested in local enterprises.





Mon, 04/01/2013 - 16:15 | 3397105 Cathartes Aura
Cathartes Aura's picture

interesting observations, thanks for the link.

the "warnings" not to go into the chaotic anarchist areas - I have similar memories of my time in Europe/UK, with folks telling me the best places to steer clear of. . . and they were always the most vibrant, creative, interesting parts of the local culture. . . including the neighbourhoods of "immigrants" which are usually targeted as fear-full. . . I did have a few annoying experiences, but mostly these were from predators (petty thieves, men with grabby hands, etc.) that one encounters anywhere.  for the most part, the "outsiders" tend to be more respectful of individuals, less invested in control.

and certainly it was the local anarchist collective types that kept their communities alive.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:13 | 3395675 Sooke
Sooke's picture


The insanity is that this horrendous waste of young lives could be solved immediately by eliminating the minimum wage.


Unemployment would disappear as wages fell until supply met demand. Tax revenue would rise and crime would fall. These young people need jobs, any jobs, at any wage to regain their self esteem.


Singapore has no minimum wage, no unemployment, and a per capita GDP of $62,000. 


The answer is simple. All it will take are some politicians who are willing to fight the tyranny of the status quo.


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:23 | 3395691 Griffin
Griffin's picture

Icelanders refused to take over the debts of failed private banks, like for example the Icesave accounts from Landsbanki. Those were paid by the estate of the failed bank, like one would expect in a normally functioning capitalist economy.

Then they kicked out the government, disconnecting at the same time all kinds of morons from their access to the parliament and the fire sale party that was looming in the air. It was said that the economy was like a refrigerator filled with valuable assets that would rot if they were not put into the safe hands of special friends.

Most of those special friends decided shortly after that it was in their best interest to leave Iceland, and they have not returned. So the plots and plans of those idiots quickly fell apart when they saw the possibilities in the situation.

The reason why Johanna Sigurdardottir was the one selected to be prime minister was because she was the one least likely to do more damage. She has been involved in social matters in the past, you could say that she has been a kind of baby sitter. She was nicknamed Holy Johanna because she was so harmless.

She is retiring now, 70 years old, after 35 years in parliament.


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:29 | 3396199 Coke and Hookers
Coke and Hookers's picture

This is total bullshit. Johanna's government tried to force the Icesave 'deal' on the Icelandic people, handed over the new banks to Goldman Sachs cronies who bought the old banks' debt and has been trying to force the country into the EU against the majority will of the nation. The current Icelandic government is bought and paid for by the globalist EU/bankster elite and the biggest task has been to prevent it from destroying the country.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 18:15 | 3397200 Griffin
Griffin's picture

The current Social democrat and Left Green coalition has not really done anything worth speaking of for the people, as one would have expected.

They did what they could to force the Icesave toxic pill down the throat of the icelandic taxpayer, but the constitution protects Iceland from such idiocy.

The social democrats were a part of the government that ruined the economy, in coalition with the Independence party, so no one expected much from them, and they did not surprise anyone.

Its a bit funny that the Left Green party, who advertised themselves as defenders of nature and were against joining the EU totally betrayed all promises and turned 180 degrees immediately after entering govt.

Steingrimur, the party leader was the jolly green giant, fighting for the environment.

The fewer words said about Steingrimur and his battle to protect Icelandic nature, the better.




Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:36 | 3395736 Van Halen
Van Halen's picture

That Greek unemployment number is going to skyrocket once the Cyprus contagion hits.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 10:40 | 3395739 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

As you know I've become a little obsessed with permaculture and natural systems. I am constantly amazed how the natural process is living empirical data for the resiliency of natural capitalism and the ability of "uncorrupted systems" to repair quickly and effectively. Iceland is no different. There is dramatic shifts and some pain at first but the healing is almost immediate and, like nature, grows exponentially. Do the wrong shit and let thieves run amock and bad things grow at the same rate. Speaking of bankers, same with cancer. Natural, diverse, and raw nutrition (sorry Monsanto and Merk) do the exact same thing for the human body (think resiliency and redundancy) and beat down cancer. In fact they keep it from EVER developing. Of course, the ever growing corporate monsters in bed with the ever growing government monster (no difference really) wants you to think otherwise and are taking more and more of your money to make you sicker. In the end, this shit is simple and really involves humility. It's the amazing and bizarre truth that human health, economic or otherwise, is inseperable from the natural balance of the physical world in which we live. What do you know.      

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:44 | 3396242 Hulk
Hulk's picture

What Davey said!!! How the fuck did we ever get to this disconnected point ???

As Joel Salatin has said: "Folks, this ain't normal" I highly recommend his book by that title.

Pastured animals loaded with CLA, a cancer inhibitor.

Raw broccolli, raw brussel sprouts, and cooked cabbage, Kale and colored greens, right out of the garden, ain't nothing better. Raw nuts, blueberries and blackberries, eaten fresh from the forest, yum, yum! A berrying we will go !

You can't eat gold. Bitchez!!!

Got Gold ???

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:23 | 3395948 smacker
smacker's picture

Let me get this straight.

The Euro currency, the Eurozone and the elites that manage the whole business is in fact a façade for destroying economies, increasing unemployment in member states and impoverishing their citizens.

I wonder what the secret agenda is................

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 11:44 | 3396026 hooligan2009
hooligan2009's picture

iceland has a population of just one third that of cyprus

i am guessing that means just a handful, like 6 or 8 icelanders, were involved in taking on lots of debt from britain and norway, with another 100-150 enabling them with logistical support.

as with cyprus, a tiny minority of the loans were to icelandic people, the majority were to fund expansion into non-icelandic affairs, like buying an investment banking presence in london and borrowing at "hot" rates in sterling.

from what i have seen of the comments of icelanders, they are rugged and independent with little in the way of being able to improve their lot, gven they are sitting astride one of the most volcanic regions on the planet.

the problems in cyprus can probably be ascribed to 20 or so cypriots, enabled by an infrastructure of lawyers, accountants and private bankers numberin gin the tens of thousands.

employment was not affected so much in iceland by "bubble economics" and its volcanic activity means that only an icelander would want to live or retire there.

cyprus on the other hand (along with its 2 million visitors a year (as opposed to maybe 500,000 to iceland) and its community of retirees (from britain, russia and other places totally 200,000 or so) supported a whole plethora of cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, cinemas etc etc that have now been largely bankrupted since they will have to get jobs to try and feed, clothe and health themselves..

although this is different from bosnia, croatia and serbia, its outcome will be the same..a failed nation state, reliant on the "charity" of imf and european commision loans for the next 50 years. 


Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:20 | 3396155 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

So between the two countries, 26 to 28 nooses and 1 large gallows should solve the problem then?

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:28 | 3396642 Peterus
Peterus's picture

While it would not solve it right away, it would greatly accelerate recovery and lower risk of another debacle. Even better with fair trials.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:05 | 3396116 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture
"Capitalism Never Solves Its Crisis Problems; It Just Moves Them Around Geographically"

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:11 | 3396132 Nobody For President
Nobody For President's picture

Jobs, BiTChez!

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:27 | 3396190 supafuckinmingster
supafuckinmingster's picture

I like cookies but I don't think cookies like me coz I'm always eating them.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:32 | 3396203 brace_brace_brace
brace_brace_brace's picture what do you think? 


shows me Merkel picked Italy. Italy is next . She is one ugly bitch.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 12:54 | 3396279 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Iceland was not the first. Argentina, Brazil the early 80's basically defaulted on their debt. The US banks quickly squashed those rumors and then came out with re-structuring called Brady bonds.

The Brady bonds contained significant haircuts for the banks but they were hidden among the minutie of the details within the structures of the bonds (call options, stepped coupons, etc...).

CYprus should have at least threatened to walk away to get a better deal. Indeed they might have, but too many oligarchs and European mobsters had already got their money out. It really was just the 99% left as depositors.

Mon, 04/01/2013 - 14:23 | 3396631 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The winner is Greece because instead of being alone like Iceland, it belongs to the European version of the Manson family.

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