A top-secret document neatly outlining the identities of 205 international entities in receipt of individual loans exceeding €45 million (the largest of which totalling €1250 million) from Kaupþing was leaked to the internet July 29th via WikiLeaks. The leak prompted almost immediate threats being made against the website by Kaupþing’s legal team; threats that were laughed off by WikiLeaks and documented for public viewing on the webpage.
Kaupþing almost successfully halted RÚV’s reportage on the explosive document in their evening news, yet the station persisted to broadcast the URL of WikiLeaks, thereby skirting responsibility for actually reporting on the information themselves. The injunction against RÚV was ordered by Rúnar Guðjónsson, Reykjavík’s District Commissioner.
According to WikiLeaks: “the son of the Reykjavík District Commissioner, Guðjón Rúnarsson, is head of the Icelandic Financial Services Association and one of the top spokesmen for the failed banks… Another son of the District Commissioner is Frosti Reyr Rúnarsson, who just happens to be the former head of Kaupþing’s securities brokerage division and one of the recipients of Kaupþing’s infamous bullet loans.”
The document, titled “Presentation of large exposures > €45 million,” was presented at Kaupþing’s meeting of the Board of Directors on September 25th, 2008, just prior to the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority taking control of the bank on October 9th. The contents of the document clearly reveal an insider relationship between Kaupþing and its major borrowers, many of whom were granted massive loans despite insufficient or non-existent collateral. In fact, many of the loan recipients were side companies opened by parent companies, which in turn purchased shares of the parent company and used the shares as collateral.
This is made all the more interesting if one considers a powerful statement made in May by a member of the Kaupþing Resolution Committee, Johannes Runar Johannsson, that “The Kaupþing Resolution Committee will chase the bank’s money wherever we have to, whether it has gone to offshore companies or not. It makes no difference who is holding the funds.”
- WikiLeaks Confidential exposure analysis of 205 companies each owing above EUR45M to Icelandic bank Kaupthing
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