Iceland

Wake-Up Call America: Iceland's New President Has Never Been A Politician

Meet Icelandic president elect Guoni Johannesson - a scholastic expert on political history, diplomacy and the Iceland constitution - who has never been a member of a political party, is a husband and father, and reportedly chose to run for president after the release of the Panama Papers.

"Brexit" - What Goldman Thinks Will Happen Next, And Who Will Hold The Next Referendum

Considering Goldman's abysmal forecasting track record continues to plumb new lows (just today it predicted a Spain victory of Italy, and an England victory over Iceland, both tragically wrong), the following should perhaps be best used as an indicator of what will not happen. Still, since there are a lot of remaining Brexit question, we hope that the following at least provides a useful framework for how to approach the :"known unknowns", if not so much the unknown unknown ones.

10 Ways The UK Could Leave The EU

Stalemate between Britain and the European Union over what happens next following Britons' referendum vote to leave has opened up a host of possible scenarios. Here are some that are (in some cases, barely) conceivable...

First The UK, Then Scotland... Then Texas?

That didn't take long. Only hours after the final results came in for a British exit from the EU, political leaders in Scotland are talking about renewing their drive to secede from the United Kingdom. While secession of American states is often dismissed as absurd, there are few reasons to believe that a state like Texas - to name just one example - could not immediately transition from state to nation-state. With a large economy, port cities, oil, and easy access to European, Latin American, and even Asian economies by sea, economics arguments against such a separation fall flat.

Switzerland Withdraws Application To Join EU: Only "Lunatics May Want To Join Now"

Resentment toward the EU hit a new high yesterday when the upper house of the Swiss parliament on Wednesday followed in the footsteps of Iceland, and voted to invalidate its 1992 application to join the European Union, backing an earlier decision by the lower house. Thomas Minder, counsellor for the state of Schaffhausen and an active promoter of the concept of “Swissness,” said he was eager to “close the topic fast and painlessly” as only “a few lunatics” may want to join the EU now, he told the newspaper.

What The First 100 Days After Brexit Would Look Like

Before dawn on June 24, if an exit vote becomes clear, the EU’s top brass from Berlin to Brussels will be forced into damage control. In echoes of the Greek debt crisis, euro-area finance ministers may hold an emergency meeting as soon as that evening. Wild swings in the pound, more aggressive interventions by the Swiss National Bank and a ratcheting up of global instability rank as likely market reactions.

JPMorgan CIO Crushes Cameron's Scaremongery: Brexit "Hardly The Stuff Of Economic Calamity"

First The Telegraph, then The Sun, and today The Spectator all came out on the "Leave" side of the Brexit debate. However, perhaps even more shocking to the establishment is the CIO of a major bank's asset management arm dismissing the apparent carnage that Cameron, Obama, and Osborne have declared imminent, warning that, "many articles on the Brexit vote overstate its risks and consequences." As JPM's Michael Cembalest adds, the reality is "hardly the stuff that economic calamity is made of." As The Spectator concludes, "the history of the last two centuries can be summed up in two words: democracy matters."

Iceland Has Offered Foreign Bondholders A "Choice": Sell Now, Or Have Cash Impounded Indefinitely

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.

Here Comes The Turkish Flood: EU Commission Backs Visa-Free Travel For 80 Million Turks

Earlier this week we observed that in what may be Europe's latest mistake, the European Union is about to grant visa-gree travel to 80 million Turks: a key concession that Erdogan obtained as a result of the ongoing negotiations over Europe's refugee crisis which has pushed Turkey into the key player spotlight. And then, overnight, the European Commission officially granted its support to a visa-free travel deal with Turkey after Ankara threatened to back out of a landmark migration deal. It proposed to lift visa requirements by the end of June.