Not a single person named in the Special Investigative Commission’s report on the causes of the bank collapse has accepted responsibility in their role in Iceland’s meltdown. Quelle surprise.
Former Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde, for example, is mentioned throughout the report as being a largely incompetent politician. Terrified of former Central Bank chairman – and current Morgunblaðið editor – Davíð Oddsson, he also willfully excluded former Minister of Business Björgvin Sigurðsson from his meetings with Oddsson, and hid vital information from him.
Despite this, Haarde has denied any and all responsibilty for his role in the banking collapse. Eyjan reports that he lays the blame rather squarely on the banks themselves, contending that the banks lied, and hid important information about their real financial status.
Furthermore, he contends that by the time 2008 rolled around, it would have been too late to save the banks anyway. This is despite the fact that warnings were coming in 2006 from financial institutions such as Standard & Poor’s that the economy was overheating.
“It is my opinion regarding the comments of the commission,” Geir told reporters, “that none of them in their conclusions can prove my incompetence.”
Others named by the SIC report have taken a similar tone – that rather than their actions having anything to do with the banks falling apart, it was instead the fault of someone or something else.
Color us shocked.