Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

April 12 – the Investigative Commission’s report

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The long awaited report by the Icelandic ‘Investigative Commission’ on the fall of the banks will be published on April 12. Expected to be around 2000 pages it’s not translated into English in its entirety but there will be a substantial executive summary. Each chapter will also have a thorough summary in English.

The Commission was set up by Althingi, the Icelandic parliament, at the end of 2008. The aim was to clarify what caused the collapse of the Icelandic banks. The Commission has focused on all aspects of the banks, i.a. their loan policy, ownership and auditing as well as the role of politicians, civil servants and regulators, law and legislation.

However, the report isn’t a criminal investigation. Since there is a strong feeling that fraud and criminal acts were part of the boom before the bust Icelanders’ trust in authorities will hardly be restored until alleged fraud has been investigated in some detail. That work is now ongoing at the Office of the special prosecutor where four prosecutors lead a team of investigators. The first charges could be made public later in spring or early summer but the report might give an indication of eventual fraudulent behaviour without incriminating individuals.

The debate is already raging in Iceland – will the report clarify things or not? It will depend on the expectations but the report will undoubtedly tell a coherent and clarifying story. Since many will be stung by the collapse saga there is a sense that the spin is already going on, trying to undermine or minimise the importance of the report. The hope is that the report will clarify the most pressing issues regarding the collapse, leaving Icelanders to move on to other things.

So far, no other country has published a similar report. It will be a terrific read for those of us who since October 2008 have been speculating about what really happened!

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Written by Sigrún Davídsdóttir

March 22nd, 2010 at 11:00 pm

Posted in Iceland

2 Responses to 'April 12 – the Investigative Commission’s report'

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  1. So nice to get current information, regarding Iceland, from someone who is in command of the English language. I find the local bloggers here try their best but are unable to reach the majority of the English speaking crowd insofar as they seem to be tooting their own horn rather than giving us readers the information we need to evaluate what is actually happening here. Kudos!

    Silvia Planchett

    25 Mar 10 at 8:24 pm

  2. The fact that Iceland is publishing a report emphasises the fact that the UK Government is not doing so, and has steadfastly refused to do so. The reasons are simply that the current UK Government and Prime Minister have no desire for one to be published as it would inevitably place the main causes of the failures of the British Banks at the doors of Gordon Brown, Ed Balls and Tony Blair, the three politicians who, at that time, were responsible for the UK economy. Their failures lead to the collapse of the UK banks, but also were heavily instrumental in the collapse of the Icelandic banks of Kaupthing and Landsbanki. Hopefully the Icelandic report will be direct and clear as to where the blames truly lies. If so, it will be a tribute to Icelanders. It will also show how the Icelandic political system is strong enough to force such a report, and the UK one so weak that people in power are not held accountable.

    Tony Shearer

    27 Mar 10 at 11:25 am

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