Iceland has taken an unprecedented step to indict its Prime Minister, Geir Haarde, for being the cause of its financial collapse. The charges were ‘intent or gross neglect, mostly violations against the laws of ministerial responsibility.’ According to another law maker, Ath Gislason, Haarde’s great sin was omission. He did nothing and allowed the world financial crisis to hit Iceland to ground zero.
Some law makers were kinder and put the blame squarely on his predecessor, David Oddson. Oddson did something very familiar to countries that are suckers to the flawed American financial system, by allowing the privatization of banks and ‘liberalized banking laws, paying the way for a brief period of prosperity and the bank’s risky and ultimately self destructive behavior.’
What happened in Iceland is a common phenomenon in many western countries, a brief period of ecstasy before doomsday comes. The stock markets too got a small lift, but the collapse is just around the corner. With liberalization, it is like giving a licence to kill to the bankers and big fund operators.
It is so lucky that we have no reason to indict any politician here. They have all done well in their ministries and everything is just fine. Some thought there were a few cases that deserved to be indicted. Some thought the time is not ripe. The financial system and the stock exchange, and the nation’s reserves, are still kicking and looking healthy, just like the housing bubble. Let’s hope that they stay that way and there is no need to indict anyone as the consequences of a bad judgment and decision can be fatally destructive and beyond redemption.