Financial vikings in seenot

Is an end to the "Iceland saga" in sight?

According to his examination, capitalism carries out wonders, so-called "economic miracles". On whose costs the go, is usually discrete disregard. One of the last scenes of this "miracle" was Iceland. But with the global financial crisis, the earthly naturality seems to be returned there now.

Some framing data of the Iceland saga, as the "Financial Times" in an editorial on 25.Marz called were indeed impressive. Since 1996, the ecological growth (a short burglary in 2002 exempted) has always been between 4% and 6.5%. Fully a foreign word is not yet a foreign word: the unemployment is now less than 1%, the proportion of employed at the overall taxation in record-making 84.2% – and although the number of working immigrants have been more than a few minutes.

At the same time, in 2007 the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of official estimates was in purchasing power paritants 39.400 euros and was just just behind Switzerland (39.800 KKP). While the share of fishing and fish processing significantly reduced, the IT industry and the financial sector boomed. In the last twists, the small island swung in the North Atlantic with their 313.000 inhabitants to a veritable capitalist port. In 2006 alone, Icelandic direct investment was abroad to 6.5 billion euros or. One third of GDP. The banking system contributed a tenth of economic performance in 2006 and thus twice as much as a decade before. At the same time, the proportion of fisheries and industry shrank from 33% to less than 20%.

Icelandic banks and investment companies such as Glitnir (formerly Islandsbanki), Kauthing and Landsbanki, Exista, FL Group and Straumur-Budaras acquired stately participations in American Airlines, Finnair, the department store chain debenham, Commerzbank, Norwegian Storebrand Bank and the Finnish Sampo Group. The BauGur Group took over the traditional Danische Kaufhauser Illum and Mahasin du Nord and now strives for a majority share of the US department store Saks for three billion dollars. Mostly invested in industries that promised high returns, but now especially among the turbulence on the financial markets, and often the entry was financed via loans. This becomes the "Finanz-Wikingern" now for dangerous.

Charm-offensive gene west

In the wake of the world-wide financial crisis, which was bonded by the Damen Subprime loans in the United States, strong doubts about the liquidity and stability of the Icelandic model and its banks and investment funds have come to the international capital leased by high interest. So the "Financial Times" pointed out that "every bank is vulnerable and the dimension of Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki in the ratio of the $ 4.3 billion deposits of the Icelandic Central Bank and a gross domestic product of the country’s only 17 mililear dollar investors understood makes nervous ".

A devaluation of the ratings of the three coarse banks by the Agency Moody’s did their utmost. Since the beginning of the year, the Icelandic crown lost 22 percent of value and thus as strong as no other European preservation. The Icelandic Stock Index Icex bubte since the 1. January 2008 in crowns 35% and in euros more than 50%. In addition, causing a growing inflation of currently 6.8% prepares (target was 2.5%!) and the high trade and current account deficit. In response, the Icelandic Central Bank presented a "very tight monetary policy" and raised the key interest rates one day after Easter for whopping 1.25% to now 15%. An international quite lonely top position. The "Financial Times" is also a "recession" in Iceland for "probably".

Meanwhile, Minister Prosident Geir Haarde is trying on the right-bodied independent party in recent days with a charm offensive in the New York financial metropolis, where he criticized the movements on the credit markets a bit helpless than "completely out of the frame and not justified" ". The "Financial Times" noted Suffisant: "A cynic could assert that such comments are somehow known."That Haardes amptions awaken more confidence than the opinions of Iceland’s renowned economy professor Thor Herbertsson is highly doubtful. His "all-clear" culminated in the sentence: "Let’s say it, Iceland is not strong in danger than the Wall Street Banks."

It is more likely that Island is followed by the orientation of Deutsche Bank boss Ackermann and various others, the Neoliberal cycle ended with its faith in the "self-healing force of the market" and reinforces state intervened and regulated. In fact, Haarde has announced on Wednesday to intervene in the Devien and Stock Market.

However, a renaissance of the "good old days" will hardly give it. Neither the creation of a capital market made in the 1980s still the accession to the European Economic Area 1994 still the opening in 1995 for foreign direct investment or the independence of the central bank and the transition to free exchange rates in 2001 will be made again. It is not possible to extend that (according to the model of the German IKB) in the event of a bankruptcy one of the 2001 privatized banks is nationalized – according to the well-known inclination to privatization of profits and the socialization of the losses. In any case, a change in tax policy is to be expected. To ensure a "good investment and business climate", the company taxes of over 50% had been reduced to 18% in recent years.

"Islander work hard and they celebrate hard!"

In addition to flat hierarchies, short decision-making channels, the personal relationship mesh of a transparent population, where almost everyone knows everyone, and the mentatite of the "everything is possible as long as it is not prohibited!", Was an essential secret of the Icelandic" economic wounder ", as so often, also the intensive exploitation of the existing and imported worker. Officially the working time is 40 hours a week and there is a holiday entitlement of 24 days plus 15 holidays, but two or three jobs are not uncommon and witnesses the statistics of Long working days.

The "New Zurcher Zeitung" was only partially correct than you in a reportage of 3. November 2007 suspected: "This mentatat seems to have developed over generations to survive on the rough island."Rather, here is that Iceland with an average age of only 35 years of all over the youngest population and over foreign work immigrants, especially from Poland and Lithuania, who trying to make their gluck on the polar circle. The burn-out effect is only before. Until then, the motto of a young Icelandic traveler Jon Kari applies: "Islander work hard and they celebrate hard!"Kari, who worked earlier for the airline Iceland Air, has made a flourishing business from it. He organizes weekend tours through the active Reykjaviker nightlife for adventure hungry American and European yuppies. Price: 450 US dollars per person.

Multilingual tariff carrier

Money is available for academics, employees and skilled workers. Already in 2005 an engineer deserved (without overtime hours!) 5.970 euros, an electrician 4.390 euros, a retail seller 3.750 € and a truck driver 3.340 € gross monthly. Employees in the travel bus came to Ca. 2.815 €, secretaries on 2.680 € and cooking on 2.305 €. The whole thing for living costs, which are about 20% above the German level. On the other hand, it sees much worse for the – especially foreign – workforce, which often only the minimum wage of 1.Received 200 euros per month and hardly benefited from the El Dorado.

Despite the favorable conditions of the long-term boom, the Icelandic Trade Union Council of ASI managed to enforce "Historical Tariff Communication" in mid-February 2008 – in which the high inflation is already quite attacked by the high inflation, the lowest wage group learned a particularly strong increase (plus 213 euros in the public sector). In the private sector, all wages will increase by 184 euros this year, in the coming for another 138 euros and in 2010 by € 66. For hedge against inflation, it is further provided that everyone who has been working since the 2.January 2007 for the same employer works, with appropriate inflation entitlement to a loss compensation of 5.5% this year and 3.5% in the next year. Despite a nearly unprecedented union organization degree of 88% in the private sector, however, the deep-rooted social partnership is also leaving its traces in Iceland. After all, the collective bargaining representation should now be translated for the first time into English, Polish, Lithuanian and Russian, so that the Icelandic language usually finally learns only very insufficiently powerful migrants, what rights and entitles you.

On a political-parliamentary change, which is called for an end to the coalition of the conservative-liberal independence party (Sjalfstæðisflokkurinninn, 36.6%, 25 seats) and the Social Democratic Alliance (SDA – Samfylkingin, 26.8%, 18%, 18%, 18%, Seats) Do not need to hope. Prerequisite for this goods a departure of the latter of their orientation to Tony Blair’s "New Center", the end of the 1990s led to the fact that part of the Left Social Democratic People’s Alliance rejected the formation of the SDA and in 1999 with smaller socialist and green alternative groups to the green-left movement (Vinstrihreyfingin – Grænt Framboð) merged. This new Left Party was 14.3% and 9 seats with an increase of 5.5% and 9 seats the actual winner of the parliamentary elections on the 12th.May 2007, in which the Social Democrats lost 2.4% and the left-liberal progress party (FramsoknarFlokkurinninn) 6%. A middle-left bundis had in the althing, the Icelandic Parliament with 34 of the 63 seats, although a clear majority, but speaks little for such a constellation. Unlike Germany, the rough coalition in Reykjavik has a long tradition. They ruled the country already from 1959-1971, while the Social Democratic Cabinet has so far only brief Intermezzi (1947-49, 1958/59 and 1979/80) remained.

Maybe instead, the encouraging words and the congal of the "Financial Times" helping to help instead.Marz pointed out that recession is not synonymous with a financial crisis, and it’s "a pity of goods if the panic in the international market is the economic shift, which is necessary to bring inflation under control, worse,". But it was probably the first time that capitalism will be sentimental.

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