Tuesday, March 06, 2012

NeoLiberalism on trial

Former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde went on trial today for gross negligence in office over his role in Iceland's financial meltdown:

The Icelandic parliament's "truth report" into the causes of the crisis that forced the country to borrow $10bn (£6.3bn) to prop up its economy, accused him of "gross negligence". He is also accused of failing to rein in the country's fast-growing banks, whose paper value before the crash had ballooned to 10 times the gross domestic product of the island state of 320,000 people. And he is alleged to have withheld information that indicated the state was headed for financial disaster.
If convicted, he faces up to two years imprisonment. And he's not alone: more than 200 bankers, including the chief executives of all three major banks, are also facing criminal charges. These people destroyed their country, and drove their people into penury. But unlike most jurisdictions, Iceland seems to have both the laws and the political will to hold them to account.