Monday, April 18, 2016 by Tara Paras
Banks, once the quaint little savings-and-loans depositories of yesterday, have now transformed into instruments of fraud, deception and greed, thanks to wealthy criminal conglomerates that thrive on the misery of those who have less than them in life. For years, these criminal enterprises have gotten away with charging customers for just about everything, from cash deposits to ATM fees, and even with defrauding unsuspecting victims of their hard-earned money.
Fortunately, one Western country has finally figured out that allowing these criminals to continue operating their businesses the way they currently do was hurting the nation’s growth and destroying its economy. Now, instead of bailing out the bigwigs, Iceland has chosen to try, convict and jail criminal banksters — their apparent power and influence notwithstanding. As a result, the country has become the fastest recovering economy in all of fiscally declining Europe.
As reported by The AntiMedia:
After Iceland suffered a heavy hit in the 2008-2009 financial crisis, which famously resulted in convictions and jail terms for a number of top banking executives, the IMF now says the country has managed to achieve economic recovery—”without compromising its welfare model,” which includes universal healthcare and education. In fact, Iceland is on track to become the first European country that suffered in the financial meltdown to “surpass its pre-crisis peak of economic output”—essentially proving to the U.S. that bailing out “too big to fail” banks wasn’t the way to go.
While the decision to proceed in that manner shocked a number of governments and financial “experts” at the time, it was a gamble that has since paid off.
On the other hand, the United States government, after having decided to bail out global banks while allowing erring bank executives to get away without so much as a slap on the wrist, continues to suffer from its disastrous decisions.
“Why should we have a part of our society that is not being policed or without responsibility?” special prosecutor Olafur Hauksson said following a decision by Iceland’s Supreme Court to uphold the convictions for three bankers, sentencing them to between four and five and a half years each. “It is dangerous that someone is too big to investigate—it gives a sense there is a safe haven.”
Hauksson, a one-time police officer from a small Iceland fishing village, has taken up the role of special prosecutor after he was asked to do so when the job announcement initially drew no takers. Thankfully, Iceland’s parliament helped the prosecutorial effort by relaxing secrecy laws, giving Hauksson the ability to conduct his investigations without the hassle of needing court orders.
At present, Iceland’s successful prosecutions and economic recovery remain the subject of envy for most Americans. In fact, as of February this year, Iceland has already been able to successfully sentence 29 bankers for their roles in the 2008 financial crisis. Iceland’s credit status has also improved, while its public debt has fallen, according to global credit rating agency Moody’s.
Meanwhile, more than a thousand miles away, in America, bankers continue to rejoice as they await their next six-digit bonus.