So, the winding-up committee of Glitnir bank has formally charged Jón Ásgeir Jóhannesson, the bank’s main owner before it collapsed, for abusing his position, along with Jón Ásgeir’s business partner Pálmi Haraldsson [he who sobbed to DV that he couldn’t leave his house without being harassed] and Lárus Welding, former CEO of the bank who was paid hundreds of millions of krónur both for coming on as CEO and then about 18 months later for stepping down. [Some might call that kind of money bribery, but you didn’t hear it from me.] Also charged are three other key employees of the bank [who as it happens are still working there … for Íslandsbanki, that is].
The winding-up committee is demanding ISK 6 billion in compensation.
The indictment in its entirety is published on Eyjan today. The press has been busy picking out blurbs from emails that these guys sent each other and reading them provokes a reaction that is somewhere between hilarity [because they seem so goddamn immature] and nausea [because they show such brazen disregard for other people’s money]. In the emails they’re wheeling and dealing, creating all sorts of complicated business deals that I personally can’t make heads nor tails of [and I pity those poor people who have to try and untangle the intricacies of these sorts of plots and am reminded once again that it’s not surprising the criminal investigation into the collapse is taking so long]. The ultimate aim, obviously, is to vacuum funds from the bank for their own personal use.
One individual, Einar Örn Ólafsson [not charged], is clearly alarmed and writes to Lárus Welding that he feels “our good owner” is putting him in an awkward position with his demands. He also expresses concerns that the value of shares that were put up for collateral for some kind of loan [shares in Goldsmiths – a UK retail chain] are worth a lot less than Jón Ásgeir claims, i.e. “1.5 and not 4” — whether he means pence or krónur is unclear.
One of the best email blurbs is this one, from the same individual:
I have to admit that I don’t understand why we don’t just loan Pálmi ISK 2 billion to stash away in the Caymans before he goes bankrupt. Instead of going into all these Goldsmith acrobatics.
Clearly someone had some common sense left in the bank. Too bad no one listened to him.
Incidentally, in the indictment, Jón Ásgeir, Lárus and Pálmi are all listed as having “an undisclosed address in the United Kingdom.”
PS – if you’re coming over here from Affarsvarlden, please note that Alda is my actual name, not a pseudonym. [How’d they get that idea?]