Iceland first to have to forgive mortgage debts

Iceland ”partly forgives Mortgage Debt ”

This is awesome. It shows when the people DO STAND UP they have more power and win against the corrupt bankers and politicians of a country. Iceland is forgiving and erasing the mortgage debt of the population. They are putting the bankers and politicians on the “Bench of the Accused.” Which means I assume they are putting them on trial for corruption.

Now the rest of people of the world need to start doing the same thing. We all need to stand up and against all the corruption and fraud of the banks and politicians that are puppets of the banks and corporations.”  Sherrie

The country’s banks forgave loans equivalent to 13% of gross domestic product, according to a Bloomberg article Richard cites. The equivalent in the United States would be about $1.95 trillion of mortgage debt writedowns. Icelandic banks agreed to forgive all mortgage debt over 110% of a home’s value. “I think I may have been one of the first commentators with a wide audience to point out how relatively well Iceland was doing.” What he didn’t mention, though his commentator “iInfoliner” did, is that the credit rating agency Fitch upgraded Iceland’s debt to investment grade last week. Moreover, according to the Business Week story, the country can now borrow in U.S. dollars at a mere 4.77%. Compare this to Greece at 35.98% and Portugal at 12.77%; even Spain and Italy are a little over 5% (the FT link has no rates listed for Ireland, which has no 10-year bond).The moral of the story is that a different approach to dealing with the banks is necessary.

C0rrection., Iceland had to forgive just a part of mortgage debt

The romantic view on Iceland

There is one misunderstanding apparent when Iceland and Ireland are compared. People seem to sometimes think that Icelandic people said “Oh, hell no! We’re not going to save your arses, you just have to go bankrupt and that’s the end of it” to the banks. Some people make a gesture to Icesave referendum to justify that point of view. Furthermore, the “splendid” 110% debt write-off that was passed by the parliament is considered to a fantastic success and shows on top of that the will of the people to simply get the banks to understand that debts that cannot or should not be repaid, won’t be repaid.

Sorry, there is a bit of romanticism in this story.

First, the Icelandic government tried absolutely everything it could possibly do in 2008 to save the banks. It was Iceland’s “fool’s luck” to have allowed the banks to grow up to 1,000% of GDP that made the government rescue impossible. There was no other choice than to let the banks go bankrupt, even though it has been painted in the foreign media as “Iceland chose to let the banks go bankrupt instead of shoring up their broken pieces.”

Second, the Icesave agreement was forcibly passed through the parliament by the government. It was the president that stopped the bill to become a law after the world of bloggers had been on fire for months while the public anger against the government ascended day by day. More importantly, the Icesave dispute had nothing to do with Icelandic “banksters” as they were called by that time. It was and is an international quarrel regarding how to interpret the EU/EEA treaty concerning deposit insurance schemes and passport-banking within the EU. Icesave wasn’t and isn’t a question of bailing out the banks.

Third, the 110% debt write-off that was introduced by the government hasn’t been that successful and certainly not very influencing in the overall scheme of things.

Hanged-Man-Project! :-summary of the Icelandic revolution:
 -resignation of the whole government
 -nationalization of the bank.
 -referendum so that the people can decide over the economic decisions.
 -incarcerating the responsible parties
 -rewriting of the constitution by its people

 Have we been informed of this through the media?
 Has any political program in radio or TV commented on this?
 No! The Icelandic people have been able to show that there is a way to beat the system and has given a democracy lesson to the world
 ...See More

Wall Photos ICELAND. No news from Iceland?… why? How come we hear everything that happens in..
By: RePeace


ICELAND. No news from Iceland?… why? How come we hear everything that happens in Egypt but no news about what’s happening in Iceland:

In Iceland, the people has made the government resign, the primary banks have been nationalized, it was decided to not pay the debt that these created with Great Britain and Holland due to their bad financial politics and a public assembly has been created to rewrite the constitution.

And all of this in a peaceful way. A whole revolution against the powers that have created the current global crisis. This is why there hasn’t been any publicity during the last two years: What would happen if the rest of the EU citizens took this as an example? What would happen if the US citizens took this as an example.

This is a summary of the facts:

2008. The main bank of the country is nationalized.
The Krona, the currency of Iceland devaluates and the stock market stops. The country is in bankruptcy

2008. The citizens protest in front of parliament and manage to get new elections that make the resignation of the prime minister and his whole government.
The country is in bad economic situation.
A law proposes paying back the debt to Great Britain and Holland through the payment of 3,500 million euros, which will be paid by the people of Iceland monthly during the next 15 years, with a 5.5% interest.

2010. The people go out in the streets and demand a referendum. In January 2010 the president denies the approval and announces a popular meeting.
In March the referendum and the denial of payment is voted in by 93%. Meanwhile the government has initiated an investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the crisis, and many high level executives and bankers are arrested. The Interpol dictates an order that make all the implicated parties leave the country.

In this crisis an assembly is elected to rewrite a new Constitution which can include the lessons learned from this, and which will substitute the current one (a copy of the Danish Constitution).
25 citizens are chosen, with no political affiliation, out of the 522 candidates. For candidacy all that was needed was to be an adult and have the support of 30 people. The constitutional assembly starts in February of 2011 to present the ‘carta magna’ from the recommendations given by the different assemblies happening throughout the country. It must be approved by the current Parliament and by the one constituted through the next legislative elections.

Debt write off was only partial

The 110% debt write-off was simply a measure that was offered to over-indebted households. It was very simple on the surface: if your mortgage was higher than 110% of the estimated market value of the property, you could have the debt written off down to the 110% mark.

The total debt that was written off based on this jubilee was 43.6 billion krona. On top of that came 6.2 billion due to “special measures”. In comparison, the debt that was written off due to illegal foreign-exchange-linked loans was 146.5 billion krona. In September 2008 (the last point in time where it is known how high the face value of household debt was) the debt of households was 1,890 billion krona (128% of GDP). The government induced debt write-off has been roughly 2.5% of the total debt of households. Is that meant to be a huge turning point? Give me a break! The indexed debt of households has in the meanwhile risen by a rough estimation of 200 billion ISK due to rise in consumer prices since 2008. This is not a typo.

Longer term view

The debt dynamics in the Icelandic economy are scary! The mortgage and financial system is built to collapse, it is an unmissable feature of the organisation of the system.

Shit on the system!  
  Tögg: english
When Elections took place in Iceland one voter decided to use his rights to vote. Showed up at the voting station and literally took a dump on the political party system, the power abuse and the general democracy distortion, wiped his ass on the ballot, neatly folded it and slipped into the ballot box.
The video is here

Spanish crash to bring down Banks??

All the pain in Spain… Millions refuse to lie down and see their lives smashed for the benefit of a few bankers, says Escobar.
Zaragoza, Spain – Make no mistake; the future of the euro is being played in Spain. The euro may win – but at a price; millions of Spaniards as “collateral damage”.

It took less than 100 days in power for the right-wing Popular Party (PP) government led by Mariano Rajoy to face its first general strike, on March 29.

The strike was mostly called by minority unions; the major ones, the opportunistic and bureaucratic CCOO and UGT, have been in bed with the powers that be for years.

The strike was a response to Rajoy’s EU-imposed labour market reforms that, according to Antonio Carretero from the CGT union, are “a counter-reformation that erases with a single stroke many labour and union rights acquired by the working class in decades and generations”. That includes extremely harsh cuts in health, education and social services.

Predictably, the spin war was relentless. Madrid insisted “only” 800,000 workers took part in over 100 demonstrations nationally. According to unions, 900,000 people marched in Madrid, 800,000 in Barcelona and hundreds of thousands more in 111 cities, especially Valencia and in the Basque country (the unionist vanguard in Spain). In Zaragoza, a city of 700,000, at least 150,000 people may have been in the streets; it certainly looked like it by late afternoon.

Spain strikes over austerity measures

The country virtually stopped – at a 77 per cent overall rate (much higher than the 18 per cent predicted by corporate media). In the manufacturing sector, it was 80 per cent; in mining and construction, a whopping 97 per cent. Only 30 per cent of the national transportation system was active. And even though scores of cities kept the streetlights on all day – or used other tricks to bump up the numbers – consumption of electricity in Catalunya, for instance, fell by 24 per cent.

Austerity ergo sum

The catalogue of Spain’s “austerity” is the usual catalogue of neoliberalism in trouble. A previous, nominally socialist and now an ultra-conservative government have furiously decimated unemployment, retirement and severance benefits; turned virtually all labour contracts into precariousness hell; steeply raised fees for education and transportation; vastly militarised the police; and spent fortunes to bail out banks.

Spain inevitably follows the post-modernist mantra that democracy controls protest and rebellion by managing it – sort of. That’s where the cooption of those unions, CCOO and UGT, fits in; as they had already tamed rebellion in exchange for funds from Madrid, they called the strike virtually at the last minute.

Corporate media – and Spain is a small market run by monopolies – also fit in with the usual script. There will be violence by “anarchists”. The strike will be bad for tourists. Everyone has the right to work. No one will show up for this strike.

In Zaragoza, repression was harsher in the dead of the night and in suburbs, with no cameras watching. Morning pickets concentrated on banks across its mini Wall Street, driven by Brazilian-style samba drums and demonstrators dressed up as bankers. That sparked an internal debate among the protesters; with many shouting that this was not a party, in the end the samba drums were sent packing.

By late afternoon, during the massive main demonstration that crisscrossed the city centre, everyone and his neighbour seemed to be there – immigrants, whole middle-class families, the unemployed, the precariously employed, anarchists, socialists, progressives, and every indignado in town.

In powerhouse Barcelona, there were riots but mainly sparked by people’s rage against infiltrated cops [SP], some of them chased down and beaten up.

Significantly, more people in Barcelona took part in a spontaneous protest in landmark Catalunya square than in the official union protest. In Barcelona, and to some extent in Zaragoza as well, it was clear that the strike was not a union thing, but a collective effort of a loose network; neighbourhood assemblies; workers’ assemblies; smaller anti-authoritarian unions like the CNT and CGT; groups that sprang up out of the indignados movement – the precursor of Occupy Wall Street.

In Zaragoza and Barcelona, there were flyers, posters and stickers all over town. Neighbourhood assemblies and average workers went door to door – and shop to shop – to talk about the strike; and crucially, there was as much criticism of the major unions as criticism of the government………
“Your debt – we won’t pay it.” The mood during the March 29 Spanish general strike [Al Jazeera/Pepe Escobar]

The Harpies are coming to get you

The destruction of Greece may eventually be seen as an Aristophanes comedy compared to the Sophocles tragedy in store for Spain. Spain is the fourth largest economy in the eurozone. If it goes down, the EU goes down.

The infernal mechanism is the same; more “austerity” is followed by steeper Wall Street-engineered interests rates on Spain’s debt so every single euro in budget cutting is diverted to higher interest payments – and then some.

Of course Madrid will never have the guts to tell Spaniards that this budget-cut hysteria has less than zero chances of improving their lives. For 2012, Madrid has budgeted a whopping 29 billion euros for interest payments alone; that’s 30 per cent more than in 2011.

On top of it Rajoy offered an “amnesty” for major tax cheaters – thus encouraging future tax cheating.

And this in a country with a staggering 6 million unemployed. The official unemployment rate is 24 per cent – higher than Greece and the highest in Europe. In reality it’s more like 30 per cent. Among young people, it’s between 45 per cent and 50 per cent. An extra 600,000 Spaniards will definitely lose their jobs in 2012.

The US has a budget deficit of 10 per cent of GDP. Its colossal $4 trillion-plus national debt is already 100 per cent of GDP. Compare it with Spain a few points above the EU’s debt ceiling of 3 per cent of GDP, and a national debt of 79.8 per cent of GDP. Of course, if you are Washington/Wall Street you can get away with anything.

But even if Spain is now a barely disguised protectorate, still elections, strikes and a powerful concept of citizenship are kept alive. There’s serious talk of organising a European general strike. After all, the indignados started their movement in Spain, in May 2011 – the inspiration for Occupy Wall Street, a new, self-organised push for a global solidarity culture, way beyond the old, tired institutions of the organised Left, and the washed-up categories of Left and Right, East and West, North and South.

The future may be grim, but a global ola of rebellion may still be at hand. As I left Barcelona’s airport back to Asia I couldn’t help erase the verse of a classic Echo and the Bunnymen song ringing in my head: “See you in the barricades, babe.”

Pepe Escobar is the roving correspondent for Asia Times. His latest book is Obama Does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009). Full article HERE

‘The Free’ now Available as a Book! (+ free ebook)

March 2012

Happy to let you know ‘The Free’ is now IN PRINT, on request,  as a real ‘dead tree’ book… Just in time to take part in the ‘Occupy 2012’ movements planet wide!!

Available here:    costs 10€, or $14, + post. (postage may be cheaper from Amazon here…. ) lonely, abused schoolgirl occupies her own life..and sets off an explosive social and economic revolution

Also it’s Out Now as a free download for Ipad, iPhone, Sony, Kobo, Nook,, etc. Available here: for ePub (colour) costs nothing.

Also it’s in Kindle Stores (costs 3€)› US  › UK

And still a free pdf download from its website here: 362 page colour 100 illustrations +all info.

Hope you enjoy the adventure, and build on its ideas to exploit the inevitably coming collapse of capitalism

Best of luck to you all…..mike gilli

Would you like to HELP DISTRIBUTE the printed book? You could just tell your friends.. or ask your local bookstore to stock it by ordering through them. Or ask a library to get it.  Trade stocking details ’The Free’ ISBN 978-1466409323                   .CreateSpace. Direct Reseller Application Also trade distributors like April 2012) which unlike Createspace should take returns.  For Libraries the agent is 

Help Greeks under heavy attacks

Financed by capitalist slush funds the rightwing press has fanned a wave of race hate against southern Europeans, blaming our lazy love of fiesta for their economic woes.

The eurozone crisis has sown divisions in the European family, and Greece in particular has often been singled out for criticism. Has Greece been living beyond its means? Are Greeks lazy? On this second point, the statistics tell a surprising story.

This week Greece is facing more spending cuts after agreeing to a deal of 130bn euros (£110bn, $175bn) to help it avoid bankruptcy.

But the statistics suggest the country has not lost its way due to laziness. If you look at the average annual hours worked by each worker, the Greeks seem very hard-working.

Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) show that the average Greek worker toils away for 2,017 hours per year which is more than any other European country.

Out of the 34 members of the OECD, that is just two places behind the board leaders, South Korea.

On the other hand, the average German worker – normally thought of as the very epitome of industriousness – only manages 1,408 hours a year. source: BBC NEWS

Next solidarity protest on Saturday 25 February at the Greek Embassy

Φεβρουαρίου 19, 2012

After the success of the day of action on 18/2 in London and around Europe, we decided to continue our actions of solidarity! 13:00 at the Greek embassy, at 1A Holland Park W11 3TP. Facebook event: Με επισήμανση:, , , , Posted in: Δράσεις

GREEK anarchists have called for international solidarity efforts, as they endure a new brutal wave of repression from the state and its neo-fascists guard-dogs.

Says a statement posted on From the Greek Streets: “Greece is at a critical turning point, and many critical changes are taking place in a societal as well as a political and economic level.

“The disintegration and dissolution of the dominant – until recently – model of power and exploitation is more than evident, so it defines what is commonly called ‘crisis.’

“What we are experiencing now is the total failure of a system that is unable to secure any longer the social consensus, thereby is engaged in a frontal attack that is unconditional and with no pretext.

Estado español de la ESCLAVITUD / Welcome to the Spanish Slave State










Welcome to the Spanish Slave State

a Spring diary..agenda de primavera

Global mobilization for May 2012
May 1: strike (in Latin America and the U.S.)
May 12: day global rally
May 15: Global Strike / day Transition
  info: Minutes of the meeting of the International via Mumble 28/01/2012

Zombie Banks drag Ireland into the Grave

Zombie banks are dragging Ireland into the ground

Just like many African nations, Ireland’s debts must be cancelled or a ‘financial bomb’ will go off in its most deprived communities

 Activists more accustomed to campaigning against the debts of countries like Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ecuador and Indonesia were instead outside the Irish embassy this morning. Dressed as zombies, we hoped to shed some light on the so-called “zombie banks” whose debts continue to drain resources from an Irish public sector that is being slashed to the bone.
But in Iceland They REFUSED TO PAY
Iceland was ripe for change, having effectively gone bust thanks to the cronyism of a cluster of politicians and bankers who thought that they could turn an island of fishermen with a population of 318,000 into a financial superpower.In less than four years, the most rapid expansion of a banking system in history saw three privatised banks develop assets 10 times the size of the country’s GDP. It was the Icarus economy. Property prices tripled, the stock market multiplied nine times, and people borrowed heavily – often in foreign currencies – to cash in on the boom. The crash was fast, hard and painful, worsened by the collapse of the krona as the state, unable to bail out the banks, refused to pay foreign creditors. The strategy looks smart now, compared with events in Greece and Ireland
Ireland’s financial crisis has much in common with scores of countries across the developing world. The country has been brought to its knees by an enormous debt, which originated not with excessive public spending, but a footloose financial sector that gambled with the future of the country. Without so much as a vote, Ireland’s people found themselves on the hook for tens of billions of euros of reckless investments.
The ultimate symbol of this form of crony capitalism in Ireland is Anglo Irish, the bank that started Ireland’s slide into the abyss. Anglo Irish lent vast sums of money to fuel Ireland’s property bubble, in the process making fortunes for rich speculators. Anglo is believed to have 15 customers who owe the bank more than €500m each.
When the bubble burst, the Irish government stepped in to underwrite the bank – ultimately being forced to nationalise it. This disastrous decision was not based on any assessment of the use of Anglo to the economy. Economics professor Morgan Kelly said at the time that Anglo – as well as Irish Nationwide, which was also brought into public ownership – “were purely conduits for property speculation. They fulfil no role in the Irish economy.” He said it would be “better to incinerate €1.5bn than squander it on Anglo Irish Bank”.
Outrage at RBS boss's bonus deal
A £963,000 bonus in shares awarded to Royal Bank of Scotland boss Stephen Hester is strongly criticised by politicians and unions.
Today Anglo Irish, rebranded as the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation, is a zombie bank – a bankrupt institution that exists to channel government money to a group of bondholders who the Irish people can’t know anything about, and who themselves were fuelling Ireland’s increasingly speculative economy.

China orders first CO2 limits in 5 Cities


17 Jan 2012: China Sets First-Ever Cap
On Greenhouse Gas Emissions

”The Chinese government has ordered five cities and two provinces to set caps on greenhouse gas emissions in preparation for a series of regional carbon markets. Last week, China’s National Development and Reform Commission urged Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen, as well as the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong, to set “overall emissions control targets” and submit strategy proposals on how to achieve them. A plan developed by Guangdong — which commits the province to achieving 20 percent of its total energy consumption from non-fossil fuels by 2015 — has already been approved by the central government. The province must also cut its “carbon intensity,” or the CO2 emissions per unit of economic growth, by 19.5 percent. China as a whole, which has already passed the U.S. as the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, has committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 40 to 45 percent by 2020. According to a new government report, China’s urban population surpassed its rural population for the first time ever in 2011.”

Ironically a centralised authoritarian government is more able to respond to the  imminent scientifically proven  climate disaster.

Environmental activists have been repressed again, just like unions an all ‘wage slaves’. It’s also ironic that to help stop climate chaos  (and supply a plus 12% p.a. energy demand) the state is pressing ahead with the biggest and most destructive  mega dam projects in history. Green Activists Feel Sting of Chinese Government Crackdown

Meanwhile  back in the USA, the other great CO2 producer, politicians who ”believe” in climate change can’t survive, and reports of Climate disasters are disappearing from the media. The climate deniers are having a field day, with false or manipulated evidence  spread by right wing and oil company funded media and white male bloggers.

The latest this week, featured again by the BBC, says CO2 emissions have averted an Ice Age.. perfect propaganda to keep on destroying the planet, while even they admit levels would have to be below 240ppm for icing to even begin, way below even pre industrial levels.. no matter, damage done, and a name made for some happy researchers.Carbon emissions ‘will defer Ice Age’

Iran War to ‘boost US War Corporations’..Stop Them NOW!

The final logic of Capitalism is war. The excuse of a ‘nuclear program’ in Iran is as false as Saddam’s secret weapons. This time round more millions of innocents will die, to boost the profits of the US ‘War Economy’ Corporations who control the US Congress. This time round there is little protest, nobody believes they can be serious, but with the latest sanctions set to choke Iranian banks and the next to stop their vital oil exports, this war is becoming daily more certain. Now is the time for the US  and UK public to stop a barbaric genocide.

Confrontation? Iran’s New Naval Exercise to Coincide With US/Israeli Drill  Cheney’s office considered provoking war with Iran by launching false flag attack at sea

Paul Joseph Watson..Iran’s newly announced “massive” naval drill, set to take place within the next few weeks near the Strait of Hormuz, will coincide with a major US/Israeli exercise in the same region, increasing the chances that a war provocation manufactured by either side could take place.

“The newly announced Iranian drills, codenamed The Great Prophet, may coincide with major naval exercises that Israel and the United States are planning to hold in the Persian Gulf in the near future,” reports RIA Novosti.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s naval commander, Adm. Ali Fadavi, told the Fars news agency last night that the upcoming exercise would be “different” from previous ones.

Iran’s announcement of yet more naval drills follows an escalation in rhetoric after the United States sent the massive battleship USS John C. Stennis

Corporate warcrimes: In Iraq they did not even keep count of civilian casualties.

sailing through the narrow Strait of Hormuz amidst Iranian wargames based around closing the Strait, a key oil choke point.

Iran responded by firing off missiles during the drill and ordering the US aircraft carrier to “stay out of the Persian Gulf”.

The US/Israeli naval exercise, named Austere Challenge 12, is set to be the largest ever naval drill between the two powers and is based around “(improving) defense systems and cooperation between the U.S. and Israeli forces.”

The overlapping of the naval exercises amidst escalating tensions serves as a reminder that the Bush administration once debated staging a false flag wherein fake Iranian patrol boats would be used to attack a US ship as a means of creating a pretext for war.

In January 2008, the US government announced that it had been “moments” away from opening fire on a group of Iranian patrol boats in the Strait of Hormuz after the boats allegedly broadcast a warning that they were about to attack a US vessel.

The January Strait of Hormuz incident taught Cheney and other administration insiders that, “If you get the right incident, the American public will support it”. Hersh said: “There were a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build, we in ‘our shipyard’, – build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our

''Who are the murderers? These are the murderers!''

boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up. Might cost some lives”.

Given the fact that the Obama administration’s foreign policy of pre-emptive warfare has mirrored that pursued by the Bush administration, the potential for a stage-managed provocation to create a pretext for an attack on Iran during the next round of naval wargames is clear.


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