The conclusion of a British economic committee set up to investigate
the Landsbanki crisis is that Britain’s use of anti-terrorism laws was
too harsh. Additionally, it criticizes British Finance Minister Alistair Darling as having made misleading statements about his conversation with then-Icelandic Finance Minister Árni Matthiesen.
The committee maintains that Darling gave the order to use an anti-terrorist law to freeze Icelandic assets in the UK. The basis for this action was, according to Darling, a conversation which he’d had with Matthiesen, after which Darling told the British public that he was informed Iceland would not honor its debts to British investors, and therefore was left with no choice but to freeze assets. However, the committee came to the conclusion that Matthiesen did in fact assure Darling that Iceland would do everything within its power to repay its debts. The report contends further that Darling’s words and actions had a negative impact on investor trust in Landsbanki and Kaupthing.
Matthiesen told Morgunblaðið that it’s good to hear this now, even though it is rather late in the game. No word yet on Darling’s reaction to the report.
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