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When green energy becomes the target of shady deals

As I described in a previous post, Iceland has an abundance of green energy. And as we know, green energy is the energy of the future – and will only get more valuable with time. Consequently it is not surprising that Iceland’s green resources are already the target of a power struggle aimed at transferring control of those resources from the public domain into the hands of private individuals.

Last year, when Iceland’s economy melted down, a can of worms was opened up that showed the extent of the corruption and cronyism that has existed in this country for decades but which had been hidden or overlooked by most people.

Read the rest of this post over on the TH!NK site.

A blazing white sun in the sky, all day long! EPI and I took a long walk out by the lighthouse and it was gorgeous. It was around 6°C at midday but has now dropped to 2C [36F] – the sun came up at 9.09 and set at 5.11.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • tom joseph aka tj3 November 2, 2009, 12:24 am

    Well this energy issue is an extreme situation. There is only one chance and that is for the Icelandic public to absolutely forbid this deal, in no uncertain terms, no negotiations allowed. And it has to be now!

    If the public will not forbid this, it will become a fact and after that far more difficult to undo, if at all.

    Allow me to digress into an American example: The United States Space Program since the 1960s developed and subsidized space as a public resource. In particular we taxpayers here subsidized the NASA launch of communications satellites.

    It has continued to be a very bad deal for the people here as we now pay for cable and satellite TV and related services at full retail cost. How this usurpation occurred over decades is not even recognized anymore. It is considered normal for each of us to pay 60 to 100 US dollars each month for services that we financed and subsidized for over 40 years.

    It is an enormous waste of our wealth and effort for nothing, that we did not already own.

    This is the situation that Iceland now faces with its green energy resources.

    Another US example: the Internet fees we pay are in large part a fraud. We also owned and created the US part of the Internet at taxpayer expense for over 40 years. First it was a defense department initiave and later primarily a university research domain.

    Until there was big money to be seen in it, US corporations remained indifferent to the Internet. Now there is an assumption that they own it and can sell it back to us, monthly. This is additionally a tax by any other name, would it smell (as sweet)?

    The financial situation for Iceland is gathering in opportunists like gulls feeding on dead fish. The problem is Icelandic people are not dead but alive and being pecked apart by scavengers.

  • cactus zonie November 2, 2009, 3:30 am

    Broaden your horizons ….

    Basically , collapse the small guys , take their resources and get richer.
    They want your green resources and they will get it. They tricked you into privatizing your banks , and Doddson fell for it. He took it hook , line and sinker.

    And even today , the majority in Iceland love him . SAD !

    They want it all , and they will get it. After all , IDOL is on……


  • James November 2, 2009, 8:28 am

    Don’t worry: any privatised industries will eventually be nationalised again in the next crash! It is in the nature of capitalism, as Karl Marx observed, to “sow the seeds of it’s own destruction”…

  • Gray November 2, 2009, 10:28 am

    This deal should be opposed tooth and nail! It’s just a camouflaged new tax on the residents there. It’s the customers who will have to pay for the moneybomb for the administration, through much higher bills and worse service. This has happened in virtually every other incident when a monopoly has been sold to private capital, and there’s not a single reason to believe it would be different in this case. A horrible idea, especially during recession time, when people are already under enormous pressure from rising costs everywhere. To make them pay more for the one thing that Iceland has in abundance, that hasn’t to be imported, is scandalous and the Althing should use its power to put a stop on this bad deal.

  • idunn November 2, 2009, 5:45 pm

    “Last year, when Iceland’s economy melted down, a can of worms was opened up that showed the extent of the corruption and cronyism that has existed in this country for decades but which had been hidden or overlooked by most people.”

    Thus possibly the silver lining in all this mess. Since Iceland does enjoy some marvelous natural resources, maybe the chance now to avert what would have been the widespread theft of them.

  • James November 3, 2009, 11:23 am

    I wonder if the Icelandic banks will lend money to children to buy shares in these upcoming energy privatisations, in a similar way to Glitnir’s past lending practices:

  • Bromley86 November 3, 2009, 1:02 pm

    Won’t somebody think of the children!

    I for one don’t see why tycoons should be allowed to plunder banks and have debts forgiven without also extending the same courtesy to children.

  • Karen November 3, 2009, 7:12 pm

    Bullet loans to children as young as 1 year old to buy shares with the collateral being the shares themselves!!! That’s just crazy.

    I’ve been reading Iceland Review today….. and I’ll have to get to the link that James posted if I can get it to load.


  • Gauti S igurdsson November 3, 2009, 8:00 pm

    How proud I am to be a part of this wonderful outpouring of love for our children!


  • James November 4, 2009, 12:39 am

    I’m starting to wonder whether there are any Icelandic pets that own shares in the old Icelandic banks. It could be worth searching for Fido Fidosson on the share registers…

  • Joerg November 4, 2009, 7:28 am

    It’s OT, but there have already been comments about the issue of Glitnir loans, taken out by parents in the name of their underage children.

    Contrary to the debts incurred e.g. by the Icesave deal, which mainly have to be repaid by the young generation, those loans, taken out by some parents in the name of their children, have already been written off – ironically leaving the losses to the taxpayer and the profits to the irresponsible parents, who are now hypocritically blaming the bank. Therefore, this is looking more like another scam, once again proving, how irresponsible the bankers were handling investors’ money.

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson November 4, 2009, 11:49 am

    No, this was no scam, nor a proof of irresponsibility.
    This was just an example of the “old money” in Iceland preparing their children to take over just as they themselves were prepared by their own parents.
    No one made any mistake in this, except Glitnir when they tried to get the loans repaid. They were never intended to!
    A good example of the principle of privatizing gains and sharing out losses.

  • Vikingisson November 4, 2009, 2:54 pm

    lessons learned from everywhere else that basic services and energy sources were privatized. The private consumers that paid taxes to start these things got hosed and the deals are never done fairly. It may already be too late but if possible the nation must put that wonderful green energy back into public hands.
    I nearly had an investor ready to start a large green house business but got cold feet when this kind of news came out and news about rising energy costs for other small operators. (flower producers are angry too)

    @tj3: without that initial public funding the whole sat industry would have either never happened or you’d pay a whole lot more for those precious entertainment services. It was a good case for bootstrapping an entire industry. But agreed that our costs these days are way too high. So I vote with my wallet and choose not to use cable/sat/cell tv/phone at all. Internet is the one tech service I must have. Can I get a refund on my tax investments from the 60’s and 70’s?

  • True Viking November 5, 2009, 3:12 pm

    For over 900 years this has been going on in Iceland,and that’s a fact. Icelanders couldn’t have caused all this financial damage by them selfs. They’r simply not clever enough. So finaly the time has come, foreign goverments have robbed this nation off it’s true values, the energy and fishstocks. Signing the Icesave aggrement is no different than signing the “Old treate” 900 years ago, stating that all icelanders must now pay it’s taxes to foreign authority’s and we as citizens will eventuly be forced to lett go off their ovnership over it’s natural energyresources. Come on ! where is our national pride. The time has come to stand upp and fight our enemy, the new king ( I.M.F.) I feel like i am in the middle off a sceen in the movie “Lord off the rings” where “all men” as they are refeard to, are boxed in at “Helmsdeep”, the last stand for all men against the evil powers off “Sauron” who seeks greed and world domination. So few men against so many ,the battle seems lost, but near the end an unexpected help comes from “Elfs” and the battle is won by men. Ironic isin’t it, because i do believe in “Elfs” like so many other Icelanders, and therefore we cannot lose this war. All we have to do is stand our ground and if worse comes worst we can always count on the “Elfs”.