From Iceland — Fortune's Article Is "Baloney" Says Former Minister

Fortune’s Article Is “Baloney” Says Former Minister

Published August 13, 2013

Former Minister of Finance and Commerce Gylfi Magnússon is astonished by business magazine Fortune’s article on Iceland’s bleak outlook.

Likening Iceland’s economy to a time bomb, journalist Cyrus Sanati described what a disastrous effect a new crash would have on Europe, in an article published on Fortune on Monday.

“I think it’s mostly baloney,” economist and former minister Gylfi told He added that Sanati’s article was an indication that the messages about what the situation is like here should be clearer.

Gylfi said that Sanati’s presumptions were wrong and that he cited statistics incorrectly. “Furthermore, he doesn’t make a distinction between the old and the new banks and doesn’t seem to know anything about how things are.”

In his article, Sanati called the Icelandic banks “Zombie banks” but Gylfi said that wouldn’t apply even to the old banks.

“They’re just companies that are being wound-up so they can be closed down and the new banks are in no sense Zombie-banks. So I think this article is completely weird and one of the weirdest stories published about Iceland at such a revered medium recently,” Gylfi added.

“Perhaps this tells us that we need to put forth clearer messages to the outside world about the situation in Iceland, to prevent such rubbish being published again and again.”

Gylfi also stated that within the economy sector, people who have actually studied the circumstances think that Iceland’s progress is rather good and that the country is on the right track towards restoration.

Regarding the consequences for European economy if Iceland has another crash, Gylfi said that Sanati is jumping to conclusions.

“There will be severe damage for the creditors of the old banks, they’ll get less than half of their money back. But that’s old news and I can’t see how that will affect the situation in Europe in any way.”

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