Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Iceland: First Glimpses of Innovative Form of Bank Regulation

The routinely entertaining Weather Report has news of 2000 people (i.e. the equivalent of c 400,000 as a percentage of the British population) gathered for a demo on Monday, Iceland's national day, in conditions described as 'devastatingly cold, subzero temps and windy'.

"....near the end of the last speech someone climbed up the statue of [first settler] Ingólfur Arnarson and hung a picture of Davíð Oddsson [ex-Prime Minster, and current chair of the Central Bank - CM] over his head. ...... the last thing I heard before heading down the hill was “shall we go in and get him?”

And they did.

Apparently a couple hundred people stormed into the lobby of the Central Bank, shouting that they wanted Davíð out. They got past the first set of doors but beyond that was the Viking Squad in full regalia ... who kept their cool and calmly warned THE MOB that they’d use tear gas if they didn’t behave So THE MOB just basically sat down and started singing protest songs."

Then, in a radical break with the country's finest berserker traditions, both sides agreed to go home for dinner if the other side did.

The Weather Report is putting the record straight she says - her purpose is basically to debunk reports of 'a riot'. But it still sounds like a fun way to, ahem, 'bring public concerns to the attention of the financial community' to me.

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