Sunday, March 07, 2010

The true standard of fairness... that something is "fair" when it benefits you. We will see what the ultimate penalty is for disregarding the international financial rule-sets that allowed Iceland to benefit from regulatory arbitrage.

March 7 (Bloomberg) -- Icelanders rejected by a massive majority a
bill that would saddle each citizen with $16,400 of debt in protest at
U.K. and Dutch demands that they cover losses triggered by the failure
of a private bank.

Ninety-three percent voted against the so-called Icesave bill,
according to preliminary results on national broadcaster RUV. Final
results will be published today.

The bill would have obliged the island to take on $5.3 billion, or 45
percent of last year’s economic output, in loans from the U.K. and the
Netherlands to compensate the two countries for depositor losses
stemming from the collapse of Landsbanki Islands hf more than a year
ago. The island’s political leaders say they’ve already moved on to
talks over a new accord.

“The government’s survival doesn’t rest with this Icesave vote,” Prime
Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir told RUV after the preliminary count
was announced. “The government coalition remains solid,” Finance
Minister Steingrimur Sigfusson told RUV.

Failure to reach an agreement on the bill has left Iceland’s
International Monetary Fund-led loan in limbo and prompted Fitch
Ratings to cut its credit grade to junk. Moody’s Investors Service and
Standard & Poor’s have signaled they may follow suit if no settlement
is reached.

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