Posts tagged Iceland
Cyprus-Style Wealth Confiscation Is Now Starting To Happen All Over The Globe
Now that “bail-ins” have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again. In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world. As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a “bail-in” is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy. Unfortunately, this is just the beginning. The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe. It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well. From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish.
Let’s take a look at a few of the examples of how Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is now moving forward all over the globe…
For years, there have been rumors that someday the U.S. government would raid private pension funds.
Well, in Poland it just happened.
According to Reuters, private pension funds were raided in order to reduce the size of the government debt…
Poland said on Wednesday it will transfer to the state many of the assets held by private pension funds, slashing public debt but putting in doubt the future of the multi-billion-euro funds, many of them foreign-owned.
The Polish government is doing the best that it can to make this sound like some sort of complicated legal maneuver, but the truth is that what they have done is stolen private assets without giving any compensation in return…
The Polish pension funds’ organisation said the changes may be unconstitutional because the government is taking private assets away from them without offering any compensation.
Announcing the long-awaited overhaul of state-guaranteed pensions, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said private funds within the state-guaranteed system would have their bond holdings transferred to a state pension vehicle, but keep their equity holdings.
He said that what remained in citizens’ pension pots in the private funds will be gradually transferred into the state vehicle over the last 10 years before savers hit retirement age.
For years, Iceland has been applauded for how they handled the last financial crisis. But now it is being proposed that the “blanket guarantee” that currently applies to all bank accounts should be reduced to 100,000 euros. Will this open the door for “haircuts” to be applied to bank account balances above that amount?…
Following the crisis in October 2008, Iceland’s government declared all deposits in domestic financial institutions were ‘blanket’ guaranteed – an Emergency Act that was reafrmed twice since. However, according to RUV, the finance minister is proposing to restrict this guarantee to only deposits less-than-EUR100,000. While some might see the removal of an ‘emergency’ measure as a positive, it is of course sadly reminiscent of the European Union “template” to haircut large depositors. This is coincidental (threatening) timing given the current stagnation of talks between Iceland bank creditors and the government over haircuts and lifting capital controls – which have restricted the outflows of around $8 billion.
European finance ministers have agreed to a plan that would make “bail-ins” the standard procedure for rescuing “too big to fail” banks in the future. The following is how CNN described this plan…
European Union finance ministers approved a plan Thursday for dealing with future bank bailouts, forcing bondholders and shareholders to take the hit for bank rescues ahead of taxpayers.
The new framework requires bondholders, shareholders and large depositors with over 100,000 euros to be first to suffer losses when banks fail. Depositors with less than 100,000 euros will be protected. Taxpayer funds would be used only as a last resort.
What this means is that if you have over 100,000 euros in a bank account in Europe, you could lose every single bit of the unprotected amount if your bank collapses.
As Zero Hedge reported on Tuesday, a “bail-in” is now being organized for the oldest bank in Italy…
Recall that three weeks ago we warned that “Monti Paschi Faces Bail-In As Capital Needs Point To Nationalization” although we left open the question of “who will get the haircut including senior bondholders and depositors…. given the small size of sub-debt in the capital structures.” Today, as many expected on the day following the German elections, the dominos are finally starting to wobble, and as we predicted, Monte Paschi, Italy’s oldest and according to many, most insolvent bank, quietly commenced a bondholder “bail in” after it said that it suspended interest payments on three hybrid notes following demands by European authorities that bondholders contribute to the restructuring of the bailed out Italian lender. Remember what Diesel-BOOM said about Cyprus – that it is a template? He wasn’t joking.
As Bloomberg reports, Monte Paschi “said in a statement that it won’t pay interest on about 481 million euros ($650 million) of outstanding hybrid notes issued through MPS Capital Trust II and Antonveneta Capital Trusts I and II.” Why these notes? Because hybrid bondholders have zero protections and zero recourse. “Under the terms of the undated notes, the Siena, Italy-based lender is allowed to suspend interest without defaulting and doesn’t have to make up the missed coupons when payments resume.” Then again hybrids, to quote the Dutchman, are just the template for the balance of the bank’s balance sheet.
Why is this happening now? Simple: the Merkel reelection is in the bag, and the EURUSD is too high (recall Adidas’ laments from last week). Furthermore, if the ECB proceeds with another LTRO as many believe it will, it will force the EURUSD even higher, surging from even more unwanted liquidity. So what to do? Why stage a small, contained crisis of course. Such as a bail in by a major Italian bank. The good news for now is that depositors are untouched. Unfortunately, with depositor cash on the wrong end of the (un)secured liability continuum it is only a matter of time before those with uninsured deposits share some of the Cypriot pain. After all, in the brave New Normal insolvent world, “it is only fair.”
Fortunately, it does not appear that this particular bail-in will hit private bank accounts (at least for now), but it does show that European officials are very serious about applying bail-in procedures when a major bank fails.
The New Zealand government has been discussing implementing a “bail-in” system to deal with any future major bank failures. The following comes from a New Zealand news source…
The National Government are pushing a Cyprus-style solution to bank failure in New Zealand which will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts, the Green Party said today.
Open Bank Resolution (OBR) is Finance Minister Bill English’s favoured option dealing with a major bank failure. If a bank fails under OBR, all depositors will have their savings reduced overnight to fund the bank’s bail out.
“Bill English is proposing a Cyprus-style solution for managing bank failure here in New Zealand – a solution that will see small depositors lose some of their savings to fund big bank bailouts,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.
“The Reserve Bank is in the final stages of implementing a system of managing bank failure called Open Bank Resolution. The scheme will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their bank.
“Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep the bank afloat.”
Incredibly, even Canada is moving toward adopting these “bank bail-ins”. In a previous article, I explained that “bail-ins” were even part of the new Canadian government budget…
Cyprus-style “bail-ins” are actually proposed in the new Canadian government budget. When I first heard about this I was quite skeptical, so I went and looked it up for myself. And guess what? It is right there in black and white on pages 144 and 145 of “Economic Action Plan 2013″ which the Harper government has already submitted to the House of Commons. This new budget actually proposes “to implement a ‘bail-in’ regime for systemically important banks” in Canada. “Economic Action Plan 2013″ was submitted on March 21st, which means that this “bail-in regime” was likely being planned long before the crisis in Cyprus ever erupted.
So what does all of this mean for us?
It means that the governments of the world are eyeing our money as part of the solution to any future failures of major banks.
As a result, there is no longer any truly “safe” place to put your money.
One of the best ways to protect yourself is to spread your money around. In other words, don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
If you have your money a bunch of different places, it is going to be much harder for the government to grab it all.
But if you don’t listen to the warnings and you continue to keep all of your wealth in one giant pile somewhere, don’t be surprised when you get wiped out in a single moment someday.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
By The Associated Press Posted: Jun 23, 2013 5:38 AM ET | Last Updated: Jun 23, 2013 5:33 AM ET
Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong for ’3rd country’
Boards plane after U.S. begins extradition process
A former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing two highly classified surveillance programs has left for a “third country,” the Hong Kong government said Sunday.
A statement from the government did not identify the country, but the South China Morning Post, which has been in contact with Edward Snowden, reported that he was on a plane for Moscow, but that Russia was not his final destination.While the destination is not known, there are reports it could be Cuba, Ecuador or Iceland.
Snowden, who has been in hiding in Hong Kong for several weeks since he revealed information on the highly classified spy programs, has talked of seeking asylum in Iceland.
His departure came a day after the United States made a formal request for his extradition and warned Hong Kong against delaying the process of returning him to face trial in the U.S.
The Hong Kong government said Snowden left “on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel.”
It acknowledged the U.S. extradition request, but said U.S. documentation did “fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.” It said additional information was requested from Washington, but since the Hong Kong government “has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”
The statement said Hong Kong had informed the U.S. of Snowden’s departure. It added that it wanted more information about alleged hacking of computer systems in Hong Kong by U.S. government agencies which Snowden had revealed.
Snowden’s departure eliminates a possible fight between Washington and Beijing at a time when China is trying to deflect U.S. accusations that it carries out extensive surveillance of American government and commercial operations. Hong Kong, a former British colony, has a high degree of autonomy and is granted rights and freedoms not seen on mainland China, but under the city’s mini constitution Beijing is allowed to intervene in matters involving defence and diplomatic affairs.
Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the U.S., but the document has some exceptions, including for crimes deemed political.
Republished with permission
Despite potential legal retribution from American authorities, the Icelandic MP and WikiLeaks member who released the infamous ‘Collateral Murder’ video showing US war crimes in Iraq has announced plans to visit the land of the free.
Birgitta Jonsdottir is an Icelandic Member of Parliament who nearly three years ago released a classified video of a US Apache helicopter killing civilians in Iraq. Known as ‘Collateral Murder,’ Jonsdottir made the footage public in a bid to express her support for Bradley Manning, the video’s alleged source, who now stands trial for treason. The video was also instrumental in unleashing the witchhunt on WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange.
Jonsdottir is planning to arrive in the US on April 5, despite a strong warning from Reykjavík of possible legal repurcussions. The politician says her trip, which coincides with the third anniversary of the video’s release, is her way of saying she refuses to live in fear.
“I don’t want to live in the shadows. I don’t think I’ve done anything illegal or that I’m an enemy of the US state, but if they think I’ve committed a crime, I want to know,” she told The Guardian.
Jónsdóttir also plans to exhibit photographs drawn from the ‘Collateral Murder’ on her itinerary in New York and Los Angeles. In June, the MP hopes to take the exhibition across the US ahead of Manning’s trial.
“It’s deeply troubling to me that he is the only one suffering the consequences – none of the people responsible for the war crimes in the video have been held accountable,” Jonsdottir says.
Following the release of the video, Washington has tried repeatedly to gain access to Jónsdóttir’s private information. In 2011, Twitter was forced to release her user data after a subpoena from Washington demanded personal data from her feed dating back to 2009.
Jonsdottir became the subject of US attention in 2010 when she helped Assange prepare the footage of the Apache attack allegedly leaked by Manning, who was deployed in Iraq at that time. She was responsible for organizing the volunteers, researched details of the footage of a US airstrike in Baghdad on July 12, 2007, and selected stills for distribution to the media. Eight men were killed in the attack, including two Reuters correspondents.
After the video’s release, Manning was arrested as the suspected source of the video and a large cache of diplomatic cables that he’d allegedly leaked to Assange. Manning now faces 22 counts of breaching national security, charges punishable with up to life in prison with no chance of parole.
Earlier in February, it was revealed that Iceland refused to cooperate with an FBI investigation into WikiLeaks back in August 2011, with the Icelandic interior minister having “made it clear that people interviewed or interrogated in Iceland should be interrogated by Icelandic police.”
Now this is one of those events where you jump up and say “F YEAH!”
When the Minister of the Interior of Iceland found out that FBI had arrived in a private jet at the airport to investigate Wikileaks. He got right on it and kicked them OUT of the Country of Iceland! He said they were not welcomed in Iceland and made them leave!
(This happened in 2011 but the information about it is just being released today)
A group of FBI agents arrived in Iceland in August 2011, requesting collaboration with Icelandic police authorities to investigate Wikileaks, as revealed by Wikileaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson on RÚV’s news magazine Kastljós last night.
“The FBI came here in a private jet and landed at Reykjavík Airport. According to my information—which is very solid and I have had it confirmed—Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson was notified of their arrival and reacted angrily because it is unbelievably presumptuous to come here this way,” Kristinn stated.“According to my information, he demanded that these agents pack their bags, embark the plane and leave the country,” Kristinn added. “I know that this was later discussed within the government, which formally objected to U.S. authorities.”
Ögmundur confirmed Kristinn’s statement to RÚV, saying a group of foreign agents came to the country in August 2011, requesting assistance to investigate a certain affair. Their request was rejected as it is unnatural for foreign police forces to carry out investigations in Iceland, the minister reasoned.
Here is another article with the same information.
I would love to live in Iceland if it wasn’t always so cold! What a great country. I have written about them previously and how they convicted the bankers for the collapse.
Iceland President Olafur Ragnar Grimsson tells Al Jazeera’s Stephen Cole that Europe should let banks that are ran “irresponsibly” go bankrupt. Speaking at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Grimsson also held his country as a model of economic recovery after its near-collapse four years ago. “We didn’t follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies. And the end result four years later is that Iceland is enjoying progress and recovery.”
The Associated Press Posted: Jan 3, 2013 9:49 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 3, 2013 8:36 PM ET
Name isn’t on Iceland’s list of 1,853 female names that fit grammar and pronunciation rules
Call her the girl with no name.
A 15-year-old is suing the Icelandic state for the right to legally use the name given to her by her mother. The problem? Blaer, which means light breeze in Icelandic, is not on a list approved by the government.
“I want to keep it so bad because it’s so beautiful,” Blaer told Carol Off from CBC Radio’s As it Happens.
Like a handful of other countries, including Germany and Denmark, Iceland has official rules about what a baby can be named. In a country comfortable with a firm state role, most people don’t question the Personal Names Register, a list of 1,712 male names and 1,853 female names that fit Icelandic grammar and pronunciation rules and that officials maintain will protect children from embarrassment. Parents can take from the list or apply to a special committee that has the power to say yea or nay.
In Blaer’s case, her mother said she learned the name wasn’t on the register only after the priest who baptized the child later informed her he had mistakenly allowed it.
“I had no idea that the name wasn’t on the list, the famous list of names that you can choose from,” said Bjork Eidsdottir, adding she knew a Blaer whose name was accepted in 1973. This time, the panel turned it down on the grounds that the word Blaer takes a masculine article, despite the fact that it was used for a female character in a novel by Iceland’s revered Nobel Prize-winning author Halldor Laxness.
Blaer said she loves her name, because it comes from the famous Icelandic writer’s book. The book is about a young boy who is an accomplished pianist, she said, but forgets everything when he meets the beautiful Blaer.
Given names are even more significant in tiny Iceland than in many other countries: Everyone is listed in the phone book by their first names. Surnames are based on a parent’s given name. Even the president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, is addressed simply as Olafur.
Blaer is identified as “Stulka” — or “girl” — on all her official documents, which has led to years of frustration as she has had to explain the whole story at the bank, renewing her passport and dealing with the country’s bureaucracy.
First legal challenge
Her mother is hoping that will change with her suit, the first time someone has challenged a names committee decision in court.
“It’s pretty scary,” said Blaer, referring to being a teenager challenging the government.
Though the law has become more relaxed in recent years — with the name Elvis permitted, inspired by the charismatic rock and roll icon whose name fits Icelandic guidelines — choices like Cara, Carolina, Cesil, and Christa have been rejected outright because the letter “c” is not part of Iceland’s 32-letter alphabet.
“They can allow Elvis, but not Blaer,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”
“The law is pretty straightforward so in many cases it’s clearly going to be a yes or a no,” said Agusta Thorbergsdottir, the head of the committee, a panel of three people appointed by the government to a four-year term.
Other cases are more subjective.
“What one person finds beautiful, another person may find ugly,” she acknowledged. She pointed to “Satania” as one unacceptable case because it was deemed too close to “Satan.”
The board also has veto power over people who want to change their names later in life, rejecting, for instance, middle names like Zeppelin and X.
When the artist Birgir Orn Thoroddsen applied to have his name legally changed to Curver, which he had used in one form or another since age 15, he said he knew full well the committee would reject his application.
“I was inspired by Prince who changed his name to The Artist Formerly Known As Prince and Puff Daddy who changed his to P. Diddy and then Diddy with seemingly little thought or criticism,” he said. “I applied to the committee, but of course I got the `No’ that I expected.”
On his thirtieth birthday, he bought a full-page advertisement that read, “From February 1, 2006, I hereby change my name to Curver Thoroddsen. I ask the nation, my friends and colleagues to respect my decision.”
“I can understand a clause to protect children from being named something like ‘Dog poo,’ but it is strange that an adult cannot change his name to what he truly wants,” he said.
Blaer said she understands wanting to protect children from having names that may subject them to bullying, but she never hears anything negative about her name.
“Everybody thinks it’s so normal,” she said.
Thoroddsen is keeping his protest to the media. But Eidsdottir says she is prepared to take her case all the way to the country’s Supreme Court if a court doesn’t overturn the commission decision on Jan. 25.
“So many strange names have been allowed, which makes this even more frustrating because Blaer is a perfectly Icelandic name,” Eidsdottir said. “It seems like a basic human right to be able to name your child what you want, especially if it doesn’t harm your child in any way.”
Blaer said her lawyer is optimistic about the case — and he has told her he’s not frequently optimistic.
“I am optimistic,” she said. “But I don’t want to be.”
With files from CBC News
It’s time to admit that we live in a false economy. Smoke and mirrors are used to make us believe the economy is real, but it’s all an elaborate illusion.
Out of one side of the establishment’s mouth we hear excitement about “green shoots”, and out of the other side comes breathless warnings of fiscal cliffs and the urgent need for unlimited bailouts by the Fed.
We hear the people begging for jobs and the politicians promising them, but politicians can’t create jobs. We see people camped out to buy stuff on Black Friday indicating the consumer economy is seemingly thriving, only to find out everything was bought on credit.
The corporate media does their best to distract us from seeing anything real. We see the media glorify Kim Kardashian who got rich by being famous, and became famous merely by being rich. She got front page coverage on Huffington Post this week because her cat died. Enough said.
Meanwhile the financial media makes the economy seem complicated and they ban anyone who speaks truthfully about the economy from their airwaves.
Is it any wonder why people are angry and confused about the economy?
Rotten Egg Smell/Sulfur around many towns of California – Massive Fish Die off Salton Sea with Egg smell – All About Hydrogen Sulfide
Today there is a strong Rotten Egg/sulfur smell around many towns of California.
It is being reported on the local news there.
Dozens of people in the northern San Fernando Valley have reported a rotten egg-like odor this morning, a smell that’s also been reported as far away as Simi Valley and the Inland Empire.
Brian Humphrey, a Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman, said the calls started early this morning and have mostly been from the Foothill and north Valley areas of the city
I put these places on a map. It ranges 50+ miles between Simi Valley and Inland Empire – Here is the map:
I looked up what can cause a Rotten Egg Smell. Hydrogen Sulfide creates a rotten egg smell.
Hydrogen sulfide (British English: hydrogen sulphide) is the chemical compound with the formula H2S. It is a colorless, very poisonous, flammable gas with the characteristic foul odor of rotten eggs. It often results from the bacterial breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen, such as in swamps and sewers; this process is commonly known as anaerobic digestion. It also occurs in volcanic gases, natural gas, and some well waters
Remember that L.A. had a couple of 3+ mag quakes last week.
The two earthquakes that struck Beverly Hills and shook a good portion of Los Angeles this week occurred at the intersection of two dangerous faults.
Although both faults are capable of producing a 7.0 temblor, experts said the quakes are probably not foreshocks to a larger quake.
The earthquakes that hit this week — a 3.2 on Monday, centered near Doheny Drive and Wilshire Boulevard — and a 3.4 after midnight Friday, centered near Wilshire Boulevard and Beverly Drive — were shallow.
DeCODE Genetics (DCG) has published a study that states Icelandic fathers who are in the 40’s pass down more genetic mutations than their 20 year old counter-parts. According the DCG, 97% of genetic mutations are derived from older fathers.
Because males produce sperm throughout their lives, and the genetic make-up of that sperm is created from mutations based on previously produced sperm. This study supposes that increase in autism could be connected to these genetic mutations.
This has led to an increase in genetic defects, suggests lead researcher Dr. Kari Stefansson. She asserts: “Society has been very focused on the age of the mother. But apart from [Down's Syndrome] it seems that disorders such as schizophrenia and autism are influenced by the age of the father and not the mother.”
Studies into DNA with regard to reproduction and children harken back to proponents of eugenics that discouraged the procreation of those deemed “unfit” by the upper Elite of society.
The President’s Council on Bioethics, who supports the screening of newborn blood in America, has stated that: “Advocates of a broadened notion of ‘benefit’ often extol the utility of newborn screening for helping parents make future reproductive decisions…But this notion of ‘benefit to the family’ is not unproblematic…Suppose that expanded screening of an infant reveals not a fatal and incurable disease but instead a host of genetic variants, each of which merely confers elevated risk for some condition or other. Who is to say at what point an uncovered defect becomes serious enough to warrant preventing the birth of other children who might carry it? At what point have we crossed the line from legitimate family planning to capricious and morally dubious eugenics?”
The US government, in conjunction with hospital participation, has been warehousing newborn DNA with the intention to conduct full genome scans on every American citizen.
By Jeff Nielson
For approximately three years; our governments, the banking cabal, and the Corporate Media have assured us that they knew the appropriate approach for fixing the economies that they had previously crippled with their own mismanagement. We were told that the key was to stomp on the Little People with “austerity” in order to continue making full interest payments to the Bond Parasites – at any/all costs.
Following three years of this continuous, uninterrupted failure; Greece has already defaulted on 75% of its debts, and its economy is totally destroyed. The UK, Spain, and Italy are all plummeting downward in suicide-spirals, where the more austerity these sadistic governments inflict upon their own people the worse their debt/deficit problems get. Ireland and Portugal are nearly in the same position.
Now in what may be the greatest economic “mea culpa” in history, we have the media admitting that this government/banking/propaganda-machine Troika has been wrong all along. They have been forced to acknowledge that Iceland’s approach to economic triage was the correct approach right from the beginning.