Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

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Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Iceland, a morality play

Scavved from John's comments, ajay's reconstruction of the whole wossname, with a few additions from Richard J and me.


ROLF, an Icelandic banker
LARS, an Icelandic government bloke
TOM, a British government bloke
ELLEN, a British punter
BLOFELD, an IMF bloke
JOHANNA, an Icelandic lady

Act One

ROLF: I would like to open a bank in your country!
TOM: Stop! Before you do so, will our citizens’ money be safe in it?
LARS: Yes it will, my British chum. We’ll guarantee the first €20k or so of each British customer’s deposit, as international treaties dictate.
TOM: In that case, crack on.
ROLF: Come on, British people! Deposit your money in my bank!
ELLEN: All right then. Here’s a big bag of cash.

Act Two

ROLF: Oh, by the way, my bank’s collapsing.
ELLEN: Shit! What about my money? It’s safe, right?
ROLF: Yes, sort of, but you can’t get it out right now, because the safe door is very stiff, and we have to handle the notes with special gloves, and we’ve only got one pair and the dog ate one of them…
TOM: Er, Lars? You want to handle this one?
LARS: Maybe later. Busy.
ROLF: Lars, baby, you know that fund we’d been supposed to set up to guarantee our deposits, and you were supposed to make sure was all hunky-dory?
LARS: Oh yes, that one.
ROLF: It’s kinda broke.

Act Three

LARS: (to the global public) Well, we’re broke. If you’re Icelandic, you get your cash back. Foreigners? You can go whistle, mateys
THE MORE ERUDITE MEMBERS OF THE GLOBAL PUBLIC: Hang on, didn’t you sign up to an agreement that implicitly prohibits discrimination on these grounds? What gives, dudes?
TOM: Bloody hell. OK, here, Ellen, have some of mine to tide you over until either Lars or, more probably, Rolf pays me back. Which they’ll do, because they have to.
BLOFELD: Lars, are you OK? Need a loan?
BLOFELD: Sure, but you have to use some of that to pay Tom back after he got you out of trouble with Ellen.
TOM: So, Lars, mate, I sort of need that money now.
LARS: OK, here you are. Wait! No! I’ve changed my mind!

Act Four

TOM AND BLOFELD: what the fuck do you mean, changed your mind?
JOHANNA: I’m very sorry, ignore him, I am in charge. We deeply regret this wildly predictable screw up but we promise you will get your money back, we just need a bit of time to pay
TOM: Oh, fair enough, that’s all right then
BLOFELD: If he’s cool, I’m cool.
JOHANNA: well, now to work, clearing up all the massive heap of shit that Rolf and Lars appear to have dumped on my desk
LARS: Hang on, I've had another idea! Even though I was voted out for causing that "financial collapse" ...

Act Five

LARS: ... I still control a largely honorary position that lets me force a referendum on legislation if I'm prepared to cause a minor constitutional crisis! Whahey!
ROLF: Hey Icelanders! You can vote yourselves EUR40,000 a head at the expense of foreigners!
ICELANDERS: Is it as simple as that? We dimly recall a couple of get rich quick schemes from the past that didn't work out as planned.
ROLF: Yes! Just as simple as that! Nothing can possibly go wrong! And the best thing is, you’ll be taking it from the villainous Brits whose fault this entire crisis was when they maliciously destroyed my bank out of pure jealousy!
LARS: gosh I am glad that I vetoed that law that Johanna tried to pass preventing Rolf from establishing a media monopoly!

FINIS (so far)

There really, really is no case to be made for the "plucky lickle Icelanders". It's notorious in the Nordic region for being a boastful little country with a selfish streak a mile wide, and when they elected successive governments of neoliberal chancers, they knew what they were doing. The nearest comparison anywhere in the world is California.

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