Finally FINALLY it appears that the Office of the Special Investigator [aka the sheriff of Akranes] commissioned to investigate events surrounding the bank collapse has got its ass in gear and started doing something.
Today [and last Tuesday apparently, although we didn’t know about it] Icelandic police conducted a series of ten or twelve raids – depending on which media you follow – in connection with alleged market manipulation and fraud. The raids appear to focus on companies tied to one Ólafur Ólafsson, who apparently was one of “our” moguls [why does it leave a bad taste in my mouth to write that?] but who most people had never heard of until he paid old Elton John the GDP of a small African nation to sing a few ditties at his birthday party back in oh-seven. [The title of this post which I penned back then, basically sums up what we, the plebeians of this land, were asking ourselves at the time in response to this outlandish decadence]. They even conducted a search of his home, which indicates that they had pretty strong suspicions of his culpability.
The allegations apparently revolve around the sale of a 5 percent share in Kaupthing bank back in September last year to some Sheik Mohamed Bin Khalifa Al-Thani [say that ten times real quick!] who appears to have been a front man for a scam intended to push Kaupthing shares up in price. Not certain of the details – not too much is being revealed now, but I remember this scandal surfacing a few months ago, along with myriad others. So many were coming up at that time, in fact, that it was impossible for a normal person to adequately keep track, but I seem to recall that they lent money to a company founded in SheikMohamedBinKhalifaAl-Thani’s name, who then transferred it to somewhere else, who then used approximately the same amount to buy the shares, thereby driving the price up. But don’t quote me on it.
In any case, it’s good to see that Eva Joly has rolled up her sleeves and is getting to work. Incidentally, she was spotted yesterday taking a stroll out by the Grótta lighthouse – my usual haunt – so the timing of the raids hardly seems like a coincidence. Sadly, however, I fear it’s much too late – it’s been eight months – EIGHT FRICKING MONTHS! – since the bank collapse, and nobody can tell me that those paper shredders have not been working overtime. Plainly speaking: I doubt they’re going to find anything, but I sure hope I am proven wrong.
In other news: The EU has requested Iceland’s assistance in formulating a new fisheries policy, Icelandic authorities have signed a deal with the British Virgin Islands for “information exchange” [read: busting through the bank secrecy laws in some of the most notorious tax havens], almost 50 percent of Icelandair has been taken over by Íslandsbanki, food prices are up by 25 percent, and Kaupthing bank is going after Robert Tchenguiz. Of course I’d love to elaborate, but it’s been an especially busy week [I’ve been talking to a lot of cool people; expect parts of those interviews to land on this site in due course] so unfortunately I can only supply the headlines. But, as most of you know, there’s always Iceland Review.
THE WEATHER HAS BEEN GLORIOUS
This week has been absolutely stunning. Sunny and bright and warm [for us, at least]. Party’s over, though, for the time being, as it’s set to cloud over with stormy weather in parts of the country until tomorrow. Which is just as well, so we can all hanker down and get some work done [because up here, places close due to weather – when it’s sunny]. Right now 10°C [50F]. The sun came up at 3.51, set at 11 pm.