From Iceland — Root of the Crisis Was Privatizing the Banks, Says PM

Root of the Crisis Was Privatizing the Banks, Says PM

Published September 15, 2010

Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, addressing parliament yesterday, said that the roots of the economic collapse of 2008 can be traced back to the privatization of the country’s banks in 2003.
While agreeing that the cause of the collapse would be a negligent government and bank managers practicing in bad faith, the prime minister contended that the roots of the crisis itself can be traced back to when the conservative-led government privatized the banks themselves, a process that was completed in 2003.
In the wake of this privatization, she continued, the conservatives adopted a laissez-faire approach to the operations of the banks, letting them grow exponentially to an extraordinary degree, with inevitable consequences.
While a parliamentary committee looking into the causes of the economic collapse did not agree on the issue of the banks’ privatization, she thanked them for their work. She also said that she looked forward to the creation of a special school for ministers, their assistants, and employees of the prime minister’s office, which will teach them work ethics, and the finer points of Icelandic law.
This same committee has already recommended that four former ministers face charges of negligence and mismanagement, and stand trial.

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