I’ve just finished reading The White Book by Einar Már Guðmundsson …yes, it’s taken me awhile, but only because I was subjected to the literary equivalent of being clobbered over the head and dragged off this book [affiliate link alert!] – pretty much as I am currently devouring this one [or as the bookstore clerk remarked last Friday when I bought it: “I hope you don’t have anything important planned this weekend … you won’t put it down until it’s finished” which pretty much sums it up. But I digress].
I still don’t know when the English-language version of The White Book will come out, but I can certainly recommend it when it does. It’s a great read, filled with sardonic wit and razor-sharp insights about our Grand Economic Collapse and the sordid affairs surrounding it.
However, because someone was wondering about the former owners of Baugur Group in the comments to this post the other day, I thought I’d share with you a section near the end of the White Book that gives a pretty good idea of their current antics.
And so, Baugur Group is now bankrupt. Jón Ásgeir‘s yacht cost approximately the same as a new Coast Guard defence vessel. Where did the money to buy it come from? According to the Daily Telegraph, the right of possession of valuable real estate in the United Kingdom and Denmark, along with a ski chalet in the French Alps, was transferred from Baugur to Gaumur ehf. shortly after the bank collapse in October . Need we mention that Gaumur is 100 percent owned by Jón Ásgeir and his people? Gaumur believed that it was owed money by Baugur. Jón Ásgeir owed Jón Ásgeir money and seemed to be prepared to pay off his debts to him, but not his debts to anyone else. Yes, shortly prior to Baugur’s 160-thousand-million-krónur bankruptcy, Jón Ásgeir decided to pay Jón Ásgeir what he owed Jón Ásgeir. In other words, through its infinite generosity, Baugur paid Gaumur, and Gaumur thus took over valuable assets from Baugur, which, strictly speaking, Baugur didn’t own. Does this not remind one of Ancient Greek Philosophy, the part called irrationality? [p. 173]
Meanwhile, the main outrage these days is that Hagar, which used to be part of Baugur Group [if I’m not mistaken – all those cross-ownership ties can be awfully confusing] and which is now bankrupt, looks set to be sold back to Jón Ásgeir and his father Jóhannes, minus a hefty share of the debts they incurred, which shall just be written off by the creditor – a bank [Kaupthing, now called Arion, how lame is that] in the public domain. Bananas, anyone?
IT’S BLOODY FRICKING COLD
Temps around 0°C and icy winds. A storm warning has been issued for the central highlands, where no man dares to tread at this time of year. The sun came up at 10.23 and set at 4.03 this afternoon.