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Is it true? Finally laws to freeze assets?

Well if a report on RÚV is to be believed, legislation that will allow authorities to freeze assets in specific cases is being finalized in a parliamentary committee today and will be submitted to Althingi as soon as possible.

Apparently this is being done NOW in response to the tax investigation I blogged about in the last post.

The head of the tax investigation says that assets worth hundreds of millions of ISK have evaporated into thin air during the course of the investigation. The freezing order is set to be applied in dozens of cases.

Now, why this wasn’t done MONTHS ago to seize the assets of the oligarchs is completely beyond me — but then again, the Ways of the Icelandic Legislators are Inscrutable.

Comments

comments

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  • Bromley86 March 17, 2010, 5:58 pm

    What ever you do, don’t give in to the temptation to bundle this in with another law 🙂 .

  • Easy March 17, 2010, 6:25 pm

    One and a half year later, after they have hidden and protected all their assets.
    -Hey thx Johanna!!
    -Don’t mention it.

  • Easy March 17, 2010, 6:27 pm

    “The head of the tax investigation says that assets worth hundreds of millions of ISK have evaporated into thin air during the course of the investigation. ”

    Only a child would have expected otherwise, This laws should have been put into effect inmediately, to avoid tese assets from evaporating, if they did’t do it befor was….why?

  • Andrew (the other one) March 17, 2010, 6:48 pm

    Agree with Bromley totally. The words “anti-terrorist” should under no account be used to describe this legislation.

    How about “The Better Late than Never Financial Regulation Act 2010”? 🙂

  • idunn March 17, 2010, 7:42 pm

    Kind of like trying to tie up the cow after it is out of the barn, and in fact way out of sight over the hill.

    Nevertheless, better late than never. Besides which it is not so much a question of that transpired in the past, or that suffered now, everyone knows how messed up that is. Rather in what might be done so that Iceland begins to slowly improve, and in years to come is a wonderful place to live. It begins with such steps as this.

  • Michael Lewis March 17, 2010, 7:50 pm

    @Bromley86
    They’ll be waterboarding bankers in Reykjavik soon. 😉

  • Joerg March 17, 2010, 9:31 pm

    A law to freeze thin air? The Icesave-intermission seems to provide an opportunity for the Icelandic parliament to tap into some creative vein. But I agree, better late than never.

  • Rik Hardy March 17, 2010, 10:23 pm

    “…but then again, the Ways of the Icelandic Legislators are Inscrutable.”
    I’m afraid they are just incompetent. I mean, what would YOU do if this country’s legal system gave you a year’s warning that it was going to investigate your company/bank for tax fraud and you knew you were guilty? I rest my case, Your Honour… Auuuuugh!

  • Rik Hardy March 17, 2010, 10:40 pm

    Sorry, I meant, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaugh!”
    Now it expresses my feelings properly.

  • Alexander E. March 17, 2010, 10:43 pm

    off-top (not for publishing)
    Alda, watching recent trends at your blog I noticed that you are diving very deep in politics. It might not be healthy, really.
    So take care and try to relax 😉
    Best wishes (and NO NEED no publish this message)

  • snowball March 17, 2010, 11:03 pm

    take a look on the following dates and the priorities become clear (maybe peeps start to understand now why uk used its ultima ratio):

    07.10.2008 iceland adopts the emergency law
    09.10.2008 uk uses anti-terrorism law to seize icelandic assets
    once upon a time in the year 2010 icelandic politicians start to think about the idea to freeze assets of the “inhabitants of money heaven”

  • Rik Hardy March 17, 2010, 11:50 pm

    Was that a scarcely veiled threat from Alexander E. ?
    I do hope not…

  • James March 18, 2010, 12:17 am

    “They’ll be waterboarding bankers in Reykjavik soon”

    Maybe the next version of the Icesave agreement should contain a clause on the extraordinary rendition of ex-Landsbanki bankers to UK and NL for waterboarding.

  • Easy March 18, 2010, 12:36 am

    What about “The I Hope You Had Time To Clean Up All Your Mess, Just Let Me Know If You Need More Time Legislation.

  • Andrew (the other one) March 18, 2010, 1:24 am

    “They’ll be waterboarding bankers in Reykjavik soon. ”

    Shouldn’t that read:

    “There’ll be snowboarding bankers in Reykjavik soon?” 🙂

    I think the Snowboarders have as many tricks as the bankers.
    Was that a “Double McTwist 1260” or a “Repo 105”?

  • Andrew March 18, 2010, 5:27 am

    I find it hard to believe that Iceland has no law that can be used to freeze assets. For example, all countries are supposed to have laws against money laundering (by international agreements) that include freezing. If these assets are moved anywhere then money laundering has occurred! This is something that really needs to be looked into.

  • andy March 18, 2010, 9:16 am

    Well, if it is retroactive (4 years) and can pierec compnay limited liability and sposal transfer of assets, then you may be pleasantly surprised by how badly some of these assets may be “hidden”.

    That which was in Tortola in nov 2008 will remain there. Anything in Iceland is fair game.

    Question is whether the hunters are up to the game.

  • Rik Hardy March 18, 2010, 10:38 am

    The “hunters” are apparently quite happy to let Jon Asgeir open a new chain of cheap stores in London. I wonder whose money he’s using to get that off the ground… Perhaps the IMF is giving him an uninsured loan – in Mr. Strauss-Kahn’s wife’s name?
    But I’ve been in Iceland for 20 years and I have learned that in child rearing the word, “No” simply doesn’t exist.
    J.A. and a host of corrupt bankers are the ghastly result.

  • Bromley86 March 18, 2010, 11:02 am

    Was that a scarcely veiled threat from Alexander E. ?
    I do hope not…

    🙂 . I was going to accuse him of being one of the (fictional) MiB staking out Alda’s house late 2008. But I’d have been entirely joking.

    However, it is worth repeating something Dadi posted on EDA recently:

    I received some “healthy advice” from an IP old-timer recently. I should not write about or criticize the party. Nothing good would come from that. They would just wait for the perfect opportunity to knock me down later, during a job interview, when I needed a bank-loan, when I needed building permits.

    He offered this advice with my best interests at heart. At the age of 70 he had obviously seen how people prosper or wither in a society run by the IP.
    [see comments]
    https://www.economicdisasterarea.com/index.php/features/for-iceland-to-get-back-on-its-feet-important-reform-is-needed-within-independence-party/

    Oh, and I like Easy’s name for the new law. Much better than the drab 12/2010 (or similar). Not as good as the “Dump on Foreigners Law”, but that never was an official name.

  • Alexander E. March 18, 2010, 1:27 pm

    Rik Hardy March 17, 2010 at 11:50 pm
    Was that a scarcely veiled threat from Alexander E. ?
    I do hope not…

    You hope confirmed 😉
    I was worried about Alda.
    Everyday political blogging might be harmful for any brain…

    That’s why I added – do not publish. The fact my note was ignored concerns me the most 🙂 What if someone hijacked her blog and just copy-pasting? OMG… have you noticed the lack of Alda’s comments? 😉

  • Michael Lewis March 18, 2010, 2:08 pm

    Trust Chuck Norris to solve these problems, see link:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aLepjRCRQ3go

  • Michael Lewis March 18, 2010, 2:16 pm

    More Chuck, even today:

    https://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-17/chuck-norris-feeds-his-vampire-squid-100-bills-mark-gilbert.html

    I particularly like:
    Chuck Norris trades Repo 105 transactions with the Federal Reserve, except Chuck only pays 104, and his U.S. auditors have signed off on them as true sales.

    Chuck should move to Iceland, just to repair its credit rating.

  • sylvia hikins March 18, 2010, 4:16 pm

    You know, it’s not just Iceland that is slow to react. Where is the legislation in Europe to curb the banks excesses? How can it be that the bankers who have been the cause of huge debts (now picked up by the tax paying middle and lower earners, along with the consequent reductions in public spending) remain in work, in bonuses, unaccountable and unchallenged, and their businesses are now boasting big retail profits made in a culture where they feel that whatever they do, they will not be made to fail. (It’s the public purse that has taken on sizeable slabs of toxic debt.) I can’t see any European nation ready to pick up Obama’s idea of separating retail banking from investment banking.
    And the American banks that encouraged Greece to bankrupt itself?
    We may have all fallen for the hype unquestioningly, but we are not the experts, and it is they who should be taken to account.
    The question of morality goes beyond Iceland and beyond moving assets to the Caymen Islands.
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • Rik Hardy March 18, 2010, 6:50 pm

    Yep, I noticed that Alda wasn’t reacting.
    Very sensible, and my apologies to you if I seemed to overreact – it did look a bit like euphemistic mafia-talk from a Godfather movie, but I didn’t take it too seriously, never fear.
    I’ve certainly seen enough movies in my time, but nevertheless there are clearly some nasty, unscrupulous, opportunistic and arrogant real-life people in Iceland, and one might as well be aware of it.
    Ignorance is bliss only for a limited period.

  • Michael Lewis March 18, 2010, 7:51 pm

    Sylvia, Goldman did not encourage Greece to bankrupt itself. If Greece defaults it will be because of it’s bloated public sector, much like the UK public sector. And, Obama is not suggesting the separation of wholesale and retail banking either – private equity and proprietory trading being the prime focus of the legislation up for grabs. Similarly, in Europe you have stupid politicians blaming Hedge Funds, an easy target perhaps, but still wrong.

  • Martin March 20, 2010, 6:27 am

    Am I the only person wondering how the owners of Actavis can bid billions of Euros on pharmaceutical giant Ratiopharm ?

    Icelandic people, wake up !

  • Joerg March 20, 2010, 9:15 am

    “Am I the only person wondering how the owners of Actavis can bid billions of Euros on pharmaceutical giant Ratiopharm ?”

    There is an article in FTD about this bidding available (in German):

    https://www.ftd.de/unternehmen/finanzdienstleister/:erbe-des-merckle-imperiums-deutsche-bank-will-milliarden-ueber-ratiopharm-deal-retten/50082442.html

    The intended (and meanwhile failed) deal had been initiated by Deutsche Bank as principal creditor of bankrupt Actavis. The actual scandal here is that Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson, the one who paved the way to money heaven, is still listed as chairman of the board of directors of Actavis.