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Showdown in Iceland

April 8th, 2011 · No Comments

Will Iceland Vote No or Commit Financial Suicide
By MICHAEL HUDSON
http://www.counterpunch.org/hudson04082011.html
A landmark fight is occurring this Saturday, April 9. Icelanders will vote on whether to subject their economy to decades of poverty, bankruptcy and emigration of their work force. At least, that is the program supported by the existing Social Democratic-Green coalition government in urging a “Yes” vote on the Icesave bailout. Their financial surrender policy endorses the European Central Bank’s lobbying for the neoliberal deregulation that led to the real estate bubble and debt leveraging, as if it were a success story rather than the road to national debt peonage. The reality was an enormous banking fraud, an orgy of insider dealing as bank managers lent the money to themselves, leaving an empty shell – and then saying that this was all how “free markets” operate. Running into debt was commended as the way to get rich. But the price to Iceland was for housing prices to plunge 70 per cent (in a country where mortgage debtors are personally liable for their negative equity), a falling GDP, rising unemployment, defaults and foreclosures.

To put Saturday’s vote in perspective, it is helpful to see what has occurred in the past year along remarkably similar lines throughout Europe. For starters, the year has seen a new acronym: PIIGS, for Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain.

Tags: Critique of Evolutionary Economy

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