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.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Croesus's picture

<-- Click if you like Gold

<--Click if you like Bernanke

malikai's picture

I clicked Bernanke.

..Just because I'm an asshole.

smlbizman's picture

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

TwoShortPlanks's picture

EuroGhetto.....under the Fourth Reich.

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

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.

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!"

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 

Bananamerican's picture


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."


DaveyJones's picture

hence the continued criminal approach

good points

One of the Dakota states has a good approach

Like the founders said

redpill's picture

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

Greece and everything since: Avoid referendum at all costs

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.

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. 

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%

GetZeeGold's picture



He's the James Dean of ZH.

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

francis_sawyer's picture

Then ~ He PRINTED himself 4 more upvotes out of thin air...

francis_sawyer's picture

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

css1971's picture

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



Crash Overide's picture

Iceland bitches!


Told ya so.

bania's picture

just way no to drugs

cossack55's picture

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

SMG's picture

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

Temporalist's picture

Population of Greece is 11.2 million people.

Population of Iceland is 329,000 people.

Mercury's picture

You can certainly have devestating unemployment in a small country.

 Just watch what happens next in Cyprus...

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?

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.

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."

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.

JR's picture

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

Pinto Currency's picture


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

They will need them.

A Nanny Moose's picture

His purpose is to make weather bimbos seem more accurate.

DaveyJones's picture

I think he doth protest too much

clothes do not make the man

Auntie Lo's picture

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

JimBowie1958's picture

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.

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.  

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.

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.  

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.


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.  

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. . .

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.

Mercury's picture

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


Now there’s a handy euphemism.

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

NoWayJose's picture

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

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:)

Urban Redneck's picture

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

pods's picture

<rubs Saiga 12>

Charlene is ready.


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