By G. Johnsen
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Extra info for Bringing Down the Banking System: Lessons from Iceland
The Central Bank’s Director of Financial Stability Tryggvi Palsson, who had been on a golfing trip in Spain the previous weekend and therefore not involved in the Glitnir decision, reports that contagion is beginning to spread and that the coming weekend will be crucial. ”68 30 BRINGING DOW N T HE BANK ING SYST EM Later that day, after Glitnir asks for written confirmation from the government that it is bound by the agreement, the government coordination group meets and discusses the upcoming Glitnir shareholder meeting.
The Government has announced that it will do everything in its power to strengthen the Icelandic banking system. To that end, several important achievements have been attained over the last few weeks and months. In the alarming situation now prevailing in global financial markets, extending a lifeline to the banks entails great risk for the entire Icelandic nation. This must be kept in mind when addressing foreign borrowing by the National Treasury, amounting to thousands of billions of Icelandic kronas, for defending the banks in the rough seas they now find themselves in.
The findings of the SIC investigation provide us an unprecedented view of the events occurring throughout the Icelandic credit boom–bust cycle. In fact, in my presentations at central banks and other financial institutions around the world, in front of some of the most experienced financial markets experts of our time, I am yet to find an audience that wasn’t surprised and even shocked by the details of the Icelandic story. I thank these audiences for encouraging me to write this book and for providing great feedback that helped guide the story.