The Nordic North : bank and citizens through history

History repeats itself

The entire economic crisis is history that is repeating itself, unfolding right before our very eyes. However, this time, it is only worse. The banks are under siege, with millions of the citizens’ eyes now fully open. They (the citizens) are more than convinced that banks are exploiting them and abusing their power while the governments on the other hand are violating the core principle that is that the legitimacy on rests on the citizen’s demands.

A Mexican Stand-off

A stalemate is looming, a Mexican stand-off of some sorts. The government has been side lined, with consent of its citizens. The repercussions; heightened social injustice, Greek-fashion social explosions and political resistance to freedom of speech. These consequences are incalculable at the moment.

It is only in one country in the region where justice has been served, where the corrupt banks have been caught up by the long arm of the law and punishment administered deservedly, Iceland, the Nordic North.

Icelandic Woes

Close to five years down memory lane, one of the world’s biggest economies saw the nationalisation of three of their main banks due to debt and bankruptcy. The national debt increased immeasurably. The local currency, the krona, lost its value in comparison to the euro with market capitalisation dropping drastically by over 90%. Iceland was only left to declare bankruptcy. Public unrest was inevitable as the government tried to make things right by imposing austerity measures.

The people’s Voice

A referendum had to be conducted in March 2010 and it was voted in almost unanimously with more than 90% of the citizens voting against using tax payers’ money to pay off debts. Nothing more than the minimum interest rate!

A contemporary caricature of ‘Mr Jackson’s financial panic’ (click to enlarge). The Times. Public domain.

An in depth research was conducted and a report written listing down all the evil doings of the banks, politicians , auditors, administrators as well as members of the government who were, with the help of infuriated citizens, arrested and adjourned in a parliamentary court (first of its kind). Among those found guilty was the prime minister who was accused and found guilty of violating the laws of ministerial responsibility.

A new constitution was quickly drafted by a constitutional council elected by the public and it awaits a parliamentary vote and a national referendum. Its fate however lies in the hands of the coming election which is just around the corner.

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