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From Bloomberg News:

Iceland Exits Capital Controls Eight Years After Banking Crash
by Omar Valdimarsson
March 12, 2017, 7:49 AM PDT

Iceland is back.

The government at a hastily called press conference on Sunday in Reykjavik announced that effective Tuesday it will lift almost all of the remaining capital controls, allowing its citizens, corporations and pension funds full access to the global capital markets.

The move ends an eight-year struggle to clean up after the 2008 banking collapse, which triggered the worst recession in more than six decades and enveloped the north Atlantic island of 340,000 people in political turmoil.

… The controls are being lifted as Iceland is booming, helped by a record surge in tourism. …

The economy last year surged 7.2 percent, driven by household spending and investments. Unemployment is down at about 3 percent and inflation is under control.

From the Financial Times last year on the guy who was the Preet Bharara of Iceland, if Preet Bharara had actually been the Preet Bharara of New York:

Olafur Hauksson, the man who jailed Iceland’s bankers

How did a police chief from a tiny Icelandic town bring down the country’s top bankers?

DECEMBER 9, 2016 by: Richard Milne

Visiting Iceland today, it’s hard to imagine how a tiny fishing nation without a tradition of big banking became synonymous with the idea of “Viking capitalism”. About a decade ago corporate raiders embarked on a high street spending spree funded by the country’s largest banks, which built up assets 10 times the size of the country’s economy. …

Then, in the autumn of 2008, as the world dealt with its biggest financial crisis in 80 years, Iceland went pop more spectacularly than anywhere else, staving off bankruptcy only by letting its big three banks — Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki — fail.

… the role of special prosecutor was created to look into rumours of epic financial wrongdoing. Nobody applied. When, the following year, a small-town policeman more used to handing out parking fines took the job, conspiracy theorists smelled a rat: clearly, they thought, the problem was being buried.

They were wrong. Olafur Hauksson may not draw recognition from other diners as he strolls into the Hilton hotel just outside the centre of Reykjavik at noon, but he is responsible for one of the most impressive feats accomplished in the post-crisis world. For Hauksson, 52, now Iceland’s district prosecutor in charge of investigating all major crimes on the island, is the only person in the west to have jailed a big bank’s chief executive.

And not just one. … Of his financial cases, 14 have reached the supreme court for judgment, bringing 11 convictions, two acquittals and a retrial. …

In other countries, there have been convictions for financial crisis misdemeanours. …

But such cases targeted, in Hauksson’s words, “the keyboard person” — the underling who performed the trade, rather than someone up the food chain.

Hauksson, by contrast, has concentrated on the big fish. …

So how did he go about pursuing the people at the very top? He says it was mostly about following the document trail very carefully — particularly in times of stress and crisis, emails can be especially revealing.

This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail. The Icelandic bankers were fools to think they could sit out in the mid-Atlantic and enjoy a level playing field.

Update: Commenter 2Mintzin1 observers:

Yes, very much OT, but it has occurred to me that this is the reason why Obama remains in Washington to direct present and former Federal employees in the “resistance ” movement against the duly elected Prez.

He, and Hillary!, have both learned that e-mails are a poor way to run a conspiracy.

Back to the Financial Times:

It was also, he tells me, about keeping going to the logical conclusion rather than stopping. “It’s finding out who is responsible. That’s a totally different thing. In some ways, it was clear where this all came from. It was important to make the employees aware that if they cannot point to someone else, they will be the one to blame,” he says.

It is a simple point but it makes me stop. I spent several months at the end of 2015 reporting on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal. So far at the German carmaker — just like at the big US and European banks — there has been plenty of talk of big fines but only relatively junior employees have been fingered for potential criminal responsibility.

A hookers-and-blow prosecutorial strategy was suggested in the documentary Inside Job: go arrest some high-priced call girls. Get them to roll over on clients who are traders at big firms. Arrest the traders, get them to roll over on their managers. Arrest them. Get one to roll over on the COO. He rolls over on the CEO.

 
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  1. No you don’t understand. Punishing the bankers only works in Iceland because of their demographics or something. It would never work here. Plus they’re going to collapse like the Soviet Union any day now.

    And everyone knows the whole world is benefiting form all the financial innovation coming out of the US. So it’s not like the US is controlled by the finance industry or anything. It’s just that we’re so much more charitable than the rest of the world.

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  2. AndrewR says:

    Iceland is by far the single most genetically homogenous country on earth, and that fact must be factored into any lessons we might seek to draw from them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Not Raul
    I would imagine that in Iceland, there is a general feeling that people have each other's backs, and that there is a relatively low level of cynicism about the ability of the system to punish those who defect from the social contract.
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  3. Steve, Sorry to be way off topic, but a new video of Michael Brown’s activities at the convenience store has surfaced and a documentary producers says it shows a different perspective of Brown’s interaction with the store clerks. You can google it on line as New Video of Michael Brown Emerges. Lame barely covers this attempt to canonize St. Mike, but I won’t color your opinion, just watch.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lot
    The video shows Brown the night before his strong arm robbery walking in and dropping a baggy on a store counter, which is picked up and smelled by three different young overnight clerks. Brown then picks up a box of cigarillos in apparent payment for the weed, starts to walk away, then goes back and returns the box to the counter.

    So it does seem like the next day he was just picking up his payment for weed he sold the prior day, which he presumably did not want to walk around with the night before. The elderly clerk there the next day was likely not aware of the deal, tried to stop him, and was then manhandled by Brown.

    Criminals often do really dumb things, but walking in a grabbing something worth $76* and nothing else, with no disguise, in the middle of the day, seems especially dumb.

    So Brown is still an impulsive scumbag criminal, just not quite as stupid as the robbery video we first saw shows.

    (*the exact 100-pack of Swisher Sweets Tip Cigarillos sells online for $76, so probably cost the store about $50)
    , @Old fogey
    The good folks at ConservativeTreeHouse have a post about this, in which they present evidence that the grand jury knew all about the 1 am video - so the claim that this video is "new" doesn't hold much water.
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  4. utu says:

    “it will lift almost all of the remaining capital controls, allowing its citizens, corporations and pension funds full access to the global capital markets.”

    Is it a good thing? They will make themselves open to reprisals. London bankers still may get what they lost.

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  5. utu says:

    “go arrest some high-priced call girls. Get them to roll over on clients who are traders at big firms.”

    Yeah, they got a call girl to get Spitzer who used to prosecute bankers (though he never sent anybody to jail) and who went after World Jewish Congress.

    Spitzer got lots of money from settlements from banks. Do we know where does the money from settlements end up? Does it go to some slush funds or directly to the treasure of NY State?

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  6. I like the Irish response better, Just borrow more money at lower rates.

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  7. 2Mintzin1 says:

    “This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail.”

    Yes, very much OT, but it has occurred to me that this is the reason why Obama remains in Washington to direct present and former Federal employees in the “resistance ” movement against the duly elected Prez.
    He, and Hillary!, have both learned that e-mails are a poor way to run a conspiracy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Boomstick
    I think that's why Valarie Jarrett moved into Obama's house in DC. If you run electronic surveillance on her, you're also doing it on an ex-President, which is a sticky proposition.
    , @william munny
    That goes along with what Assange says motivates him. Assange a decade ago:

    “The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive ‘secrecy tax’) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaptation.”

    Wikileaks now:

    “Organizations have two choices (1) reduce their levels of abuse or dishonesty or (2) pay a heavy ‘secrecy tax’ in order to engage in inefficient but secretive processes. . . . As organizations are usually in some form of competitive equilibrium this means that, in the face of WikiLeaks, organizations that are honest will, on average, grow, while those that are dishonest and unjust will decline.”
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  8. Peterike says:

    Uh oh. Unemployment is too low. Next some will cry Iceland needs immigrants. That nation could be destroyed in a year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Believe me, there are Icelanders already crying out for immigrants, specifically those high-caliber Syrian refugees. Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, author and professor, put out a call on facebook in 2015 asking for Icelanders to speak out if they wanted the government to do more to help those fleeing Syria. More than 12,000 people responded. She wrote, “Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, or soulmates, the drummer for the band of our children, our next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finished the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, the fireman, the computer genius, or the television host.”

    And when those Syrians get a look at Bryndis, come they will!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/iceland/11835537/10000-Icelanders-offer-to-house-Syrian-refugees-after-authors-call.html
    , @Tom-in-VA
    Cod left rotting in the sea.
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  9. Iceland is by far the single most genetically homogenous country on earth, and that fact must be factored into any lessons we might seek to draw from them.

    Yes, indeed, and it was evident that Iceland used its genetic homogenuity to devise a sneaky tactical plan to beat the extremely vibrant, but incoherent England soccer team during the last European championships. Iceland attacks were based on a plan perfected by practice whereas most of the England players had no clue as to what their team mates were doing due to a failure to communicate nonverbally, thus creating an unfair advantage for Iceland, whose players could speak to each other in Icelandic, but also cunningly understand understand English soccer phrases, whereas none of the England players understood Icelandic ballspeak.

    Read More
    • Replies: @berserker
    Come on, England has always been hopeless. Their problem is that they believe they are something special. Look at the cricket team. Almost just as bad but that does stop them from thinking they are special.
    - Nothing amuses me more than watching the English lose in sports.
    , @DerSohndesAllvaters
    That and Germany beating Italy finally were the best parts of the EM.
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  10. A number of years ago there was the Hutton inquiry in Britain into why we entered into the Iraqi War. It was found that Tony Blair’s Cabinet left very few minutes on the matter. Most decisions were apparently made during discussions in Downing Street corridors. These had only scanty notes to detail them.
    There’s nothing new in the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Martin Lomasney did not live in vain.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Lomasney

    Never write when you can speak...
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  11. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Doable in more homogeneous nation.

    People can unite and say NO. Also, as bankers are also Icelandic, no screams about ‘antisemitism’ or whatever.

    This is why elites hate homogeneity and unity.

    If US were one big Iceland, the bankers could have been taken down.

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  12. if Preet Bharara had actually been the Preet Bharara of New York:

    Lol

    Read More
    • Agree: Old fogey
    • Replies: @EriK
    Yeah, that was a good one.
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  13. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    Sea change in Western elite attitude.

    Yesterday: We will protect our people from dangerous foreigners.

    Today: We will protect foreigners from our deplorable people.

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  14. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    Valerie Jarrett moved into Obama’s house in order to achieve secure communications.

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  15. Bill P says:

    This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail. The Icelandic bankers were fools to think they could sit out in the mid-Atlantic and enjoy a level playing field.

    Actually, there’s another Icelandic cultural quirk that makes secrecy difficult. When Icelanders talk, they practically yell at each other. Nobody whispers. A family conversation around the dinner table sounds like a bar fight about to break out.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    From my experience of the country, Iceland is in many ways a pre-modern society. Prior to Industrialisation, Europe and North America were very similar. There was very little privacy: the vast bulk of people shared beds and bedrooms at night. Being observed in a domestic setting by large numbers of other people was expected and regarded as natural. Making oneself heard in such an environment required loud, if not noisy communication.
    So peoples that have experienced industrialisation more recently tend to be louder and noisier in public than those who have experienced it earlier. Chinese tend to speak loudly and noisily in public- like Italians, but without the charm or singing ability.
    Those who come from unindustrialised societies tend to be noisiest of all - as anyone who has had to put up with African negroes in a bar will tell you.
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  16. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer

    The sad truth is Trump is not a real reformer. Too bad he won’t hold up Iceland as a great example for the world. Instead he’s filled key cabinet posts with Wall Street guys and his top economic advisor is Cohn the globalist par excellence.

    Bannon warned that the voters need to hold the White House accountable. Freepers are already beginning to wake up to the reality of Trump. Freepers are a good barometer for flyover country sentiment. They are sniffing out Trump much faster than GWB. Let’s see if Trump knows who his real friends are.

    PS Steve the whole Preet story needs a thread or two. Outrageous news today that the guy refused to take Trump’s phone call on a legal technicality! — which means Preet was investigating Trump and didn’t want to compromise the investigation.

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  17. EriK says:
    @Opinionator
    if Preet Bharara had actually been the Preet Bharara of New York:

    Lol

    Yeah, that was a good one.

    Read More
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  18. Iceland will turn into part of the global heterogeneous melting pot real soon. Thousands of Filipino cleaners, Syrian refugees and African bartenders are living in Reykjavik now. Hundreds of male sex tourists from all corners of the globe show up every weekend by airplane, perhaps inspired by Roosh V’s ‘Bang Iceland’ book and the country’s liberal attitude towards sex.

    Read More
    • Replies: @27 year old
    >sex tourists from all corners of the globe show up every weekend by airplane, perhaps inspired by Roosh V’s ‘Bang Iceland’

    I didn't read the book, but I'm pretty sure I remember his thesis was that it was really really hard to get laid as a foreigner in Iceland, and don't bother. I think he referred to it as Don't Bang Iceland
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  19. Escher says:

    Last I checked, Icelanders still seemed to be in charge there.

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  20. Glossy says: • Website

    The people who succeed at politics and corporate politics tend to be very sociable. With some exceptions, they find reading and writing boring, and get all their energy from conversations. During the Current Year campaign someone looked through pics of Trump’s office trying to find a computer. There wasn’t one. He doesn’t even tweet – he shouts his tweets to female assistants instead. I remember someone claiming that no one’s ever seen Putin behind a computer either. Bill Clinton did not send a single e-mail during his presidency, etc.

    These people like the give and take of social interaction. Because they’re naturally good at it, meaning that they mostly end up taking. This is why they prefer real meetings to phone convos and phone convos to e-mails.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    These people like the give and take of social interaction. Because they’re naturally good at it, meaning that they mostly end up taking. This is why they prefer real meetings to phone convos and phone convos to e-mails.
     
    There is another reason to prefer meetings. Especially one-on-one meetings:

    Goodfellas: Pauli Cicero
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  21. Not Raul says:
    @AndrewR
    Iceland is by far the single most genetically homogenous country on earth, and that fact must be factored into any lessons we might seek to draw from them.

    I would imagine that in Iceland, there is a general feeling that people have each other’s backs, and that there is a relatively low level of cynicism about the ability of the system to punish those who defect from the social contract.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ivy
    Iceland has made the news for healthy youth reasons, too. The linked article shows a pro-active approach to many of society's ills. Why not try something that appeared to work elsewhere, without the typical layers of DC dysfunction and cost.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/iceland-teenage-substance-abuse-1.3962146
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  22. Svigor says:

    A number of years ago there was the Hutton inquiry in Britain into why we entered into the Iraqi War. It was found that Tony Blair’s Cabinet left very few minutes on the matter. Most decisions were apparently made during discussions in Downing Street corridors. These had only scanty notes to detail them.
    There’s nothing new in the world.

    A great example of why I think we should have 24/7/365 electronic surveillance on all gov’t property. Record it all; microphones everywhere, cameras everywhere but the bathrooms. Upload the important feeds to public servers. Let them go to Huddle House if they want privacy. This would at least take 90% of the fun out of gov’t work.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    A great example of why I think we should have 24/7/365 electronic surveillance on all gov’t property. Record it all; microphones everywhere, cameras everywhere but the bathrooms. Upload the important feeds to public servers. Let them go to Huddle House if they want privacy. This would at least take 90% of the fun out of gov’t work.
     
    Long lunches away from work ARE 90% of the fun of government work.
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  23. Ivy says:
    @Not Raul
    I would imagine that in Iceland, there is a general feeling that people have each other's backs, and that there is a relatively low level of cynicism about the ability of the system to punish those who defect from the social contract.

    Iceland has made the news for healthy youth reasons, too. The linked article shows a pro-active approach to many of society’s ills. Why not try something that appeared to work elsewhere, without the typical layers of DC dysfunction and cost.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/iceland-teenage-substance-abuse-1.3962146

    Read More
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  24. Mr. Anon says:
    @Glossy
    The people who succeed at politics and corporate politics tend to be very sociable. With some exceptions, they find reading and writing boring, and get all their energy from conversations. During the Current Year campaign someone looked through pics of Trump's office trying to find a computer. There wasn't one. He doesn't even tweet - he shouts his tweets to female assistants instead. I remember someone claiming that no one's ever seen Putin behind a computer either. Bill Clinton did not send a single e-mail during his presidency, etc.

    These people like the give and take of social interaction. Because they're naturally good at it, meaning that they mostly end up taking. This is why they prefer real meetings to phone convos and phone convos to e-mails.

    These people like the give and take of social interaction. Because they’re naturally good at it, meaning that they mostly end up taking. This is why they prefer real meetings to phone convos and phone convos to e-mails.

    There is another reason to prefer meetings. Especially one-on-one meetings:

    Goodfellas: Pauli Cicero

    Read More
    • Replies: @The True and Original David
    A saying attributed to a famous kingpin: "Don't write it down if you can say it. And don't say it if you can nod."
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  25. Mr. Anon says:
    @Svigor

    A number of years ago there was the Hutton inquiry in Britain into why we entered into the Iraqi War. It was found that Tony Blair’s Cabinet left very few minutes on the matter. Most decisions were apparently made during discussions in Downing Street corridors. These had only scanty notes to detail them.
    There’s nothing new in the world.
     
    A great example of why I think we should have 24/7/365 electronic surveillance on all gov't property. Record it all; microphones everywhere, cameras everywhere but the bathrooms. Upload the important feeds to public servers. Let them go to Huddle House if they want privacy. This would at least take 90% of the fun out of gov't work.

    A great example of why I think we should have 24/7/365 electronic surveillance on all gov’t property. Record it all; microphones everywhere, cameras everywhere but the bathrooms. Upload the important feeds to public servers. Let them go to Huddle House if they want privacy. This would at least take 90% of the fun out of gov’t work.

    Long lunches away from work ARE 90% of the fun of government work.

    Read More
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  26. Lot says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Steve, Sorry to be way off topic, but a new video of Michael Brown's activities at the convenience store has surfaced and a documentary producers says it shows a different perspective of Brown's interaction with the store clerks. You can google it on line as New Video of Michael Brown Emerges. Lame barely covers this attempt to canonize St. Mike, but I won't color your opinion, just watch.

    The video shows Brown the night before his strong arm robbery walking in and dropping a baggy on a store counter, which is picked up and smelled by three different young overnight clerks. Brown then picks up a box of cigarillos in apparent payment for the weed, starts to walk away, then goes back and returns the box to the counter.

    So it does seem like the next day he was just picking up his payment for weed he sold the prior day, which he presumably did not want to walk around with the night before. The elderly clerk there the next day was likely not aware of the deal, tried to stop him, and was then manhandled by Brown.

    Criminals often do really dumb things, but walking in a grabbing something worth $76* and nothing else, with no disguise, in the middle of the day, seems especially dumb.

    So Brown is still an impulsive scumbag criminal, just not quite as stupid as the robbery video we first saw shows.

    (*the exact 100-pack of Swisher Sweets Tip Cigarillos sells online for $76, so probably cost the store about $50)

    Read More
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  27. inertial says:

    The FT article is behind the paywall, so perhaps it gets around eventually to spelling out for what specific crimes those bankers were jailed. Most likely not. Articles of this type rarely do.

    That’s because if those bankers did the same things in the US they’d be in jail, too.

    From what I remember their crimes included insider trading, non-payment of taxes. At least two major cases involved lending money to third parties to buy stakes in banks. A straightforwardly illegal stuff that any American DA would be thrilled to prosecute.

    Read More
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  28. Old fogey says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Steve, Sorry to be way off topic, but a new video of Michael Brown's activities at the convenience store has surfaced and a documentary producers says it shows a different perspective of Brown's interaction with the store clerks. You can google it on line as New Video of Michael Brown Emerges. Lame barely covers this attempt to canonize St. Mike, but I won't color your opinion, just watch.

    The good folks at ConservativeTreeHouse have a post about this, in which they present evidence that the grand jury knew all about the 1 am video – so the claim that this video is “new” doesn’t hold much water.

    Read More
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  29. George says:

    Iceland and Ireland have exited the crisis because they have no military and are isolated from the refugee crisis. Greece, the only european nation that meets NATOs 2% of GDP requirement, is in a state of perpetual crisis.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Maj. Kong
    The UK meets the 2% guideline, Greece has actually exceeded it for most of the last two decades. Something to do with an aggressive Muslim power next door, that should have never been in NATO to begin with.

    The Icelandic and Irish governments are full-dope into multikult. But they don't have the prosperity of Germany or the largesse of Sweden, so le camp has passed them by.
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  30. Maj. Kong says:
    @George
    Iceland and Ireland have exited the crisis because they have no military and are isolated from the refugee crisis. Greece, the only european nation that meets NATOs 2% of GDP requirement, is in a state of perpetual crisis.

    The UK meets the 2% guideline, Greece has actually exceeded it for most of the last two decades. Something to do with an aggressive Muslim power next door, that should have never been in NATO to begin with.

    The Icelandic and Irish governments are full-dope into multikult. But they don’t have the prosperity of Germany or the largesse of Sweden, so le camp has passed them by.

    Read More
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  31. Boomstick says:
    @2Mintzin1
    "This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail."

    Yes, very much OT, but it has occurred to me that this is the reason why Obama remains in Washington to direct present and former Federal employees in the "resistance " movement against the duly elected Prez.
    He, and Hillary!, have both learned that e-mails are a poor way to run a conspiracy.

    I think that’s why Valarie Jarrett moved into Obama’s house in DC. If you run electronic surveillance on her, you’re also doing it on an ex-President, which is a sticky proposition.

    Read More
    • Replies: @NOTA
    There is a *much* more obvious and plausible explanation for this....
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  32. how could icelands economy recover without immigrants? especially brown ones, you need the diversity of brown people to have a good econnomy.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FX Enderby
    Yeah, how does their welfare state function without Muslim immigrants?
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  33. @Peterike
    Uh oh. Unemployment is too low. Next some will cry Iceland needs immigrants. That nation could be destroyed in a year.

    Believe me, there are Icelanders already crying out for immigrants, specifically those high-caliber Syrian refugees. Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, author and professor, put out a call on facebook in 2015 asking for Icelanders to speak out if they wanted the government to do more to help those fleeing Syria. More than 12,000 people responded. She wrote, “Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, or soulmates, the drummer for the band of our children, our next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finished the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, the fireman, the computer genius, or the television host.”

    And when those Syrians get a look at Bryndis, come they will!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/iceland/11835537/10000-Icelanders-offer-to-house-Syrian-refugees-after-authors-call.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous Nephew
    Norway and Iceland are very similar in many ways (tricky language, wealthy and expensive, members of EU single market though outside the EU, energy-rich) - yet Oslo is full of headscarves and beards, while Reykjavik is not.

    Their weather should save them, unless global warming really takes off. It's pretty stark. You can die of exposure there in August, wind-blown sand can strip the paint off cars. And the number of Icelanders who actually fronted up on their take-a-migrant promise is exceeding small.

    They're as pozzed as anywhere else though - I counted 3 tattoo shops within two hundred yards of our central apartment. Always a bad sign.

    On the good professor's call for "future spouses", the foreign men who marry Icelandic girls tend to be Norwegians, Danes, Germans, Americans, Brits. Icelandic men who marry out (esp to Thai/Filipino) seem to be looked down on by the girls - "couldn't get an Icelandic girl".

    , @DerSohndesAllvaters
    It was virtue signalling. Almost no one went. No Syrian wants to be stranded in Iceland. I have been there. It is a tight knit society, and the weather is quite depressing for most of the year.
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  34. @allahu akbar
    how could icelands economy recover without immigrants? especially brown ones, you need the diversity of brown people to have a good econnomy.

    Yeah, how does their welfare state function without Muslim immigrants?

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  35. Olorin says:

    This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail.

    More important:

    In a economic realm where high frequency/speed trading is the norm, milliseconds can mean megamillion$.

    Proximity means less cable means the electrons get there faster.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/11538-inside-high-frequency-trading-algorithms-not-markets-lead-to-wall-street-riches

    http://www.vocativ.com/398060/high-speed-trading-financial-world/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Michael Lewis' book Flash Boys covers this in great detail.
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  36. @2Mintzin1
    "This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail."

    Yes, very much OT, but it has occurred to me that this is the reason why Obama remains in Washington to direct present and former Federal employees in the "resistance " movement against the duly elected Prez.
    He, and Hillary!, have both learned that e-mails are a poor way to run a conspiracy.

    That goes along with what Assange says motivates him. Assange a decade ago:

    “The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive ‘secrecy tax’) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaptation.”

    Wikileaks now:

    “Organizations have two choices (1) reduce their levels of abuse or dishonesty or (2) pay a heavy ‘secrecy tax’ in order to engage in inefficient but secretive processes. . . . As organizations are usually in some form of competitive equilibrium this means that, in the face of WikiLeaks, organizations that are honest will, on average, grow, while those that are dishonest and unjust will decline.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @NOTA
    I sometimes wonder if a completely transparent organization would be able to keep everyone pointed in the same direction. Maybe full transparency just makes organizations beyond a certain size practically unworkable.
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  37. Tom-in-VA says:
    @Peterike
    Uh oh. Unemployment is too low. Next some will cry Iceland needs immigrants. That nation could be destroyed in a year.

    Cod left rotting in the sea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Shark left not rotting in the shed:

    https://youtu.be/mbYqznD0R5M

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  38. berserker says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Iceland is by far the single most genetically homogenous country on earth, and that fact must be factored into any lessons we might seek to draw from them.
     
    Yes, indeed, and it was evident that Iceland used its genetic homogenuity to devise a sneaky tactical plan to beat the extremely vibrant, but incoherent England soccer team during the last European championships. Iceland attacks were based on a plan perfected by practice whereas most of the England players had no clue as to what their team mates were doing due to a failure to communicate nonverbally, thus creating an unfair advantage for Iceland, whose players could speak to each other in Icelandic, but also cunningly understand understand English soccer phrases, whereas none of the England players understood Icelandic ballspeak.

    Come on, England has always been hopeless. Their problem is that they believe they are something special. Look at the cricket team. Almost just as bad but that does stop them from thinking they are special.
    - Nothing amuses me more than watching the English lose in sports.

    Read More
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  39. Esso says:

    I’m not sure the Icelandic solution of jailing bankers is generalizable. Most of the investments and deposits in those banks were foreign, so not bailing them out wasn’t all that damaging to Iceland.

    When the real estate bubble bursts in Sweden, they can hang whoever by his whatever; it won’t bring their “wealth” back.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Verymuchalive
    You seem to be saying that a lot of Icelanders - via their banks or elsewhere - have invested in Swedish property and real estate. It's not something I know much about and I and other readers would be grateful if you could tell us more. Is it one of the reasons why Sweden has taken so many "refugees" in the last 20 years ? Because the financial sector benefits from more building for "refugees" ?
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  40. NOTA says:
    @Boomstick
    I think that's why Valarie Jarrett moved into Obama's house in DC. If you run electronic surveillance on her, you're also doing it on an ex-President, which is a sticky proposition.

    There is a *much* more obvious and plausible explanation for this….

    Read More
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  41. NOTA says:
    @william munny
    That goes along with what Assange says motivates him. Assange a decade ago:

    “The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive ‘secrecy tax’) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaptation.”

    Wikileaks now:

    “Organizations have two choices (1) reduce their levels of abuse or dishonesty or (2) pay a heavy ‘secrecy tax’ in order to engage in inefficient but secretive processes. . . . As organizations are usually in some form of competitive equilibrium this means that, in the face of WikiLeaks, organizations that are honest will, on average, grow, while those that are dishonest and unjust will decline.”

    I sometimes wonder if a completely transparent organization would be able to keep everyone pointed in the same direction. Maybe full transparency just makes organizations beyond a certain size practically unworkable.

    Read More
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  42. slumber_j says:
    @Tom-in-VA
    Cod left rotting in the sea.

    Shark left not rotting in the shed:

    Read More
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  43. @Harry Baldwin
    Believe me, there are Icelanders already crying out for immigrants, specifically those high-caliber Syrian refugees. Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, author and professor, put out a call on facebook in 2015 asking for Icelanders to speak out if they wanted the government to do more to help those fleeing Syria. More than 12,000 people responded. She wrote, “Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, or soulmates, the drummer for the band of our children, our next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finished the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, the fireman, the computer genius, or the television host.”

    And when those Syrians get a look at Bryndis, come they will!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/iceland/11835537/10000-Icelanders-offer-to-house-Syrian-refugees-after-authors-call.html

    Norway and Iceland are very similar in many ways (tricky language, wealthy and expensive, members of EU single market though outside the EU, energy-rich) – yet Oslo is full of headscarves and beards, while Reykjavik is not.

    Their weather should save them, unless global warming really takes off. It’s pretty stark. You can die of exposure there in August, wind-blown sand can strip the paint off cars. And the number of Icelanders who actually fronted up on their take-a-migrant promise is exceeding small.

    They’re as pozzed as anywhere else though – I counted 3 tattoo shops within two hundred yards of our central apartment. Always a bad sign.

    On the good professor’s call for “future spouses”, the foreign men who marry Icelandic girls tend to be Norwegians, Danes, Germans, Americans, Brits. Icelandic men who marry out (esp to Thai/Filipino) seem to be looked down on by the girls – “couldn’t get an Icelandic girl”.

    Read More
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  44. @Canadian Observer
    Iceland will turn into part of the global heterogeneous melting pot real soon. Thousands of Filipino cleaners, Syrian refugees and African bartenders are living in Reykjavik now. Hundreds of male sex tourists from all corners of the globe show up every weekend by airplane, perhaps inspired by Roosh V's 'Bang Iceland' book and the country's liberal attitude towards sex.

    >sex tourists from all corners of the globe show up every weekend by airplane, perhaps inspired by Roosh V’s ‘Bang Iceland’

    I didn’t read the book, but I’m pretty sure I remember his thesis was that it was really really hard to get laid as a foreigner in Iceland, and don’t bother. I think he referred to it as Don’t Bang Iceland

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I think you are confusing what he said about Ukraine (where it's not as easy to find casual sex because the country is poor and life is serious). Iceland was a non-stop romp.
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  45. LondonBob says:

    Most back office and a lot of middle office jobs have been outsourced to Buffalo NY, Belfast NI etc. and of course India. Front office has the power to say no to moving to some dull provincial backwater, that and they can legitimately claim to need to be close to clients. Nowadays all communication is strictly monitored, recorded and alternatives banned.

    Read More
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  46. @Jonathan Mason

    Iceland is by far the single most genetically homogenous country on earth, and that fact must be factored into any lessons we might seek to draw from them.
     
    Yes, indeed, and it was evident that Iceland used its genetic homogenuity to devise a sneaky tactical plan to beat the extremely vibrant, but incoherent England soccer team during the last European championships. Iceland attacks were based on a plan perfected by practice whereas most of the England players had no clue as to what their team mates were doing due to a failure to communicate nonverbally, thus creating an unfair advantage for Iceland, whose players could speak to each other in Icelandic, but also cunningly understand understand English soccer phrases, whereas none of the England players understood Icelandic ballspeak.

    That and Germany beating Italy finally were the best parts of the EM.

    Read More
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  47. @Harry Baldwin
    Believe me, there are Icelanders already crying out for immigrants, specifically those high-caliber Syrian refugees. Bryndis Bjorgvinsdottir, author and professor, put out a call on facebook in 2015 asking for Icelanders to speak out if they wanted the government to do more to help those fleeing Syria. More than 12,000 people responded. She wrote, “Refugees are our future spouses, best friends, or soulmates, the drummer for the band of our children, our next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finished the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, the fireman, the computer genius, or the television host.”

    And when those Syrians get a look at Bryndis, come they will!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/iceland/11835537/10000-Icelanders-offer-to-house-Syrian-refugees-after-authors-call.html

    It was virtue signalling. Almost no one went. No Syrian wants to be stranded in Iceland. I have been there. It is a tight knit society, and the weather is quite depressing for most of the year.

    Read More
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  48. Svigor says:

    Long lunches away from work ARE 90% of the fun of government work.

    Great, there’ll be no objection then. :)

    I think that’s why Valarie Jarrett moved into Obama’s house in DC. If you run electronic surveillance on her, you’re also doing it on an ex-President, which is a sticky proposition.

    Hussein probably wants to avoid any “ghostwriter” talk about his $60m book deal. And any actual work. Valerie will liaise with the actual writers. $60m would shut Michelle up; not so sure about “saving the republic.”

    “The more secretive or unjust an organization is, the more leaks induce fear and paranoia in its leadership and planning coterie. This must result in minimization of efficient internal communications mechanisms (an increase in cognitive ‘secrecy tax’) and consequent system-wide cognitive decline resulting in decreased ability to hold onto power as the environment demands adaptation.”

    That’s exactly what I was thinking.

    When the real estate bubble bursts in Sweden, they can hang whoever by his whatever; it won’t bring their “wealth” back.

    It’ll encourage the others, though.

    Read More
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  49. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @27 year old
    >sex tourists from all corners of the globe show up every weekend by airplane, perhaps inspired by Roosh V’s ‘Bang Iceland’

    I didn't read the book, but I'm pretty sure I remember his thesis was that it was really really hard to get laid as a foreigner in Iceland, and don't bother. I think he referred to it as Don't Bang Iceland

    I think you are confusing what he said about Ukraine (where it’s not as easy to find casual sex because the country is poor and life is serious). Iceland was a non-stop romp.

    Read More
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  50. @Bill P

    This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail. The Icelandic bankers were fools to think they could sit out in the mid-Atlantic and enjoy a level playing field.
     
    Actually, there's another Icelandic cultural quirk that makes secrecy difficult. When Icelanders talk, they practically yell at each other. Nobody whispers. A family conversation around the dinner table sounds like a bar fight about to break out.

    From my experience of the country, Iceland is in many ways a pre-modern society. Prior to Industrialisation, Europe and North America were very similar. There was very little privacy: the vast bulk of people shared beds and bedrooms at night. Being observed in a domestic setting by large numbers of other people was expected and regarded as natural. Making oneself heard in such an environment required loud, if not noisy communication.
    So peoples that have experienced industrialisation more recently tend to be louder and noisier in public than those who have experienced it earlier. Chinese tend to speak loudly and noisily in public- like Italians, but without the charm or singing ability.
    Those who come from unindustrialised societies tend to be noisiest of all – as anyone who has had to put up with African negroes in a bar will tell you.

    Read More
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  51. @Esso
    I'm not sure the Icelandic solution of jailing bankers is generalizable. Most of the investments and deposits in those banks were foreign, so not bailing them out wasn't all that damaging to Iceland.

    When the real estate bubble bursts in Sweden, they can hang whoever by his whatever; it won't bring their "wealth" back.

    You seem to be saying that a lot of Icelanders – via their banks or elsewhere – have invested in Swedish property and real estate. It’s not something I know much about and I and other readers would be grateful if you could tell us more. Is it one of the reasons why Sweden has taken so many “refugees” in the last 20 years ? Because the financial sector benefits from more building for “refugees” ?

    Read More
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  52. @Mr. Anon

    These people like the give and take of social interaction. Because they’re naturally good at it, meaning that they mostly end up taking. This is why they prefer real meetings to phone convos and phone convos to e-mails.
     
    There is another reason to prefer meetings. Especially one-on-one meetings:

    Goodfellas: Pauli Cicero

    A saying attributed to a famous kingpin: “Don’t write it down if you can say it. And don’t say it if you can nod.”

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  53. It is amazing how avid these heroes of capitalism are for hookers and blow. I never read that in Atlas Shrugged.

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  54. Brutusale says:
    @Verymuchalive
    A number of years ago there was the Hutton inquiry in Britain into why we entered into the Iraqi War. It was found that Tony Blair's Cabinet left very few minutes on the matter. Most decisions were apparently made during discussions in Downing Street corridors. These had only scanty notes to detail them.
    There's nothing new in the world.

    Martin Lomasney did not live in vain.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Lomasney

    Never write when you can speak…

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  55. Brutusale says:
    @Olorin

    This ties into my theory that one reason the American financial industry has been concentrating in recent decades in the NYC area rather than spreading out across the country as improved communications technology would seem to warrant is so that really important communications can be made in person without leaving an electronic paper trail.
     
    More important:

    In a economic realm where high frequency/speed trading is the norm, milliseconds can mean megamillion$.

    Proximity means less cable means the electrons get there faster.


    https://www.inverse.com/article/11538-inside-high-frequency-trading-algorithms-not-markets-lead-to-wall-street-riches

    http://www.vocativ.com/398060/high-speed-trading-financial-world/

    Michael Lewis’ book Flash Boys covers this in great detail.

    Read More
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