From Iceland — The Icelandic Roundup: The Delicate Art Of Selling A Bank

The Icelandic Roundup: The Delicate Art Of Selling A Bank

Published April 12, 2022

Valur Grettisson

The government sale of over a 20% share in Íslandsbanki has been criticised harshly throughout society and there have even been calls for the resignation of the Finance Minister and the chairman of the Independence Party, Bjarni Benediktsson. The Minister of Culture and Business Affairs, Lilja Alfreðsdóttir, has also criticised the sales, potentially upending the coalition between the Independence Party, the Progressive Party and the Left-Greens. 

The list of companies and individuals that bought shares in the bank from the government revealed that the father of the Finance Minister, who oversaw the sale, was one of the buyers. In fact, a lot of familiar names that bought shares in the bank had a connection with the financial crash in Iceland in 2008. One of them was the chairman of Glitnir when the bank was privatized in 2008, Þorsteinn Már Baldvinsson. He is now under an active investigation because of bribery and corruption in Namibia. 

Andie Sophia Fontaine, the news editor at The Reykjavík Grapevine, editor-in-chief Valur Grettisson and cultural editor Josie Gaitens explain this complex situation in the newest episode of the Icelandic Roundup.

You can listen to The Icelandic Roundup via Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Buzzsprout, with other platforms becoming available in the coming weeks.

Thank you to Lava Car Rental and The Lava Centre for sponsoring this episode of The Icelandic Roundup.

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