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Headlines 12.12.08

  • Landsbanki executive who transferred ISK 107 million from bank subsidiary into own account in early October claims he did so to “rescue deposits”. What a swell guy! Mbl. reports.
  • Vilhjálmur Bjarnason, head of Association of Icelandic Investors and one of the investors in Glitnir bank, has initiated legal proceedings against Old Glitnir over severance deal that the bank paid out to its former CEO Bjarni Ármansson. Ármansson received severance pay in the amount of some ISK 900 million [USD 8.1/ EUR 6.2 million] when he stepped down as CEO of the bank in spring 2007. Moreover he kept his salary and performance-related benefits for one year, plus the bank bought his shares at a premium. Bjarnason charges that the bank’s equity was substantially depleted by the action [No! really?]. Proceedings will commence in the new year and Vilhjálmur is our pick for the Champion of the Underdog award. Fréttablaðið reports.
  • Parliament passed legislation yesterday to raise tariffs on alcohol, tobacco, oil and automobiles in order to raise revenues for the state. Happy days. Mbl. reports.
  • The Suðurnes Travel Board is in discussions to move live reindeer to the Reykjanes peninsula, just for show, [i.e. not for hunting – that will be reserved for those lucky reindeer who remain behind in the East]. Mbl. reports.

WE HAVE OUR SNOW BACK
That storm blew through here last night with a vengeance, lasting about two hours. Since then the weather gods have been utterly benign and right now are presenting us with a postcard-perfect scene, replete with fresh snow and Yule lights. -2°C [28F], sunrise this morning is RIGHT NOW! at 11.12 am, sunset due for 3.31 this evening.

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  • James December 12, 2008, 12:04 pm

    I wonder if Iceland is the *only* Western country increasing its sales taxes as it enters recession…

  • Kevin OConnor December 12, 2008, 3:37 pm

    No they have done that here in Ireland already we have govt. deficit 10% of GDP here but obviously nothing to match those poor Icelandic guys up there as they are just off the meter!!

  • Andrew December 12, 2008, 4:20 pm

    This is a nice way of giving us the Icelandic news because you can add your own comments.

  • sigga December 12, 2008, 4:26 pm

    I like this new setup!

  • alda December 12, 2008, 5:58 pm

    Andrew – Like I said, can’t properly opine in the sidebar! 😉

  • Vikingisson December 12, 2008, 7:22 pm

    Didn’t the whole ‘miracle’ start with a drastic reduction on income and business tax along with a rise on consumption tax? That was a good model IMHO since it let people keep more of the money they earned and it turned out they spent it which raised gov income instead of what the U.S. said would happen.

    This doesn’t appear to be much of a stimulus.

    This leaves me more convinced that the fed was utterly dependent on the criminal activity of the tycoons. Not saying the country was dependent on that funny money, I mean the individuals in the fed. So now the tax payer has to take up the slack. Ready to kick the bums out yet? Might be too late already.

  • Marc Scot December 12, 2008, 7:42 pm

    It’s cool being able to comment directly on the news items! The UK is lowering sales taxes (VAT) before the holidays but it remains to be seen how much of the savings are actually getting to the consumers (and how long the reductions will last!).

  • Professor Batty December 13, 2008, 12:57 am

    I really like this format- the best of both worlds [and I especially enjoy your bracketed comments!]

  • coffee drinking woman December 13, 2008, 12:31 pm

    I like the headlines-as-a-post thing. The editorial comments are the best part! 😀