Here is a portrait of Iceland and its reconstruction, after the fall of Lehman Brothers, one year after the implosion of the entire banking system, and the nation’s almost brankuptcy.
VPRO Backlight investigates the credit crisis that burst into full force a year ago. The creators have but a single question: what happened?
An economist, a philosopher, a satirist, a young activist, a fisherman and a bartender answer that question each in their own way.
Original title: The Iceland experience
VPRO Backlight also spoke with the renowned French anti-corruption expert Eva Joly, who assists the Icelandic government in investigating corruption in the financial sector. Joly opposes the Icesave agreement, with which it was decided that Iceland would have to repay the funds of depositors in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom up to an amount of 20,887 euros per depositor (about 3.8 billion euros).
For Joly it is morally unacceptable that the Icelandic citizens have to pay off for years for the malpractice of their commercial banks and reckless CEOs. In addition, according to Joly, the Icelandic taxpayer, who is supposed to pay for this debt, chose to emigrate. At present, 20% of the working population, the top segment, has chosen to leave the country.
Furthermore, there’s an interesting contribution from the economist Jon Danielsson (London School of Economics): he observed the arrival of Icesave on the foreign market. Anyone who would have studied the matter for ten minutes had understood that Landsbanki launched on the Dutch market because it was hopelessly looking for new money in order to meet outstanding commitments, Danielsson states. He therefore has a hard opinion on the DNB (De Nederlandsche Bank) supervisor: “Or the Dutch Bank did not know what she did or she chose not to warn the citizen,” concludes the economist.
The visit of VPRO Backlight to Iceland resulted in a sample card of confusion, and the beginning of the search for a better future. With special guest star Toni Negri, famous revolutionary, professor and author of, among others, “Empire”.
Originally broadcasted by VPRO in 2009.
© VPRO Backlight October 2009
On VPRO broadcast you will find nonfiction videos with English subtitles, French subtitles and Spanish subtitles, such as documentaries, short interviews and documentary series.
VPRO Documentary publishes one new subtitled documentary about current affairs, finance, sustainability, climate change or politics every week. We research subjects like politics, world economy, society and science with experts and try to grasp the essence of prominent trends and developments.
Director: Jos de Putter
Research: Maren Merckx, Olaf Oudheusden
Interviews: Maren Merckx, Olaf Oudheusden, Jos de Putter
Production: Janneke van de Kerkhof
Editors: Jos de Putter/Doke Romeijn/Henneke Hagen
English, French and Spanish subtitles: Ericsson.
French and Spanish subtitles are co-funded by European Union.