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Icelanders demand PM resign during violent protests

REYKJAVIK – Thousands of Icelanders demonstrated in Reykjavik on Saturday demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Geir Haarde and Central Bank Governor David Oddsson for failing to stop a financial meltdown in the country.

It was the latest in a series of protests in the capital since the financial meltdown that crippled the island’s economy.

Hordur Torfason, a well-known troubadour in Iceland and the main organiser of the protests, said the protests would continue until the government stepped down.

“They don’t have our trust and they are no longer legitimate,” Torfason said as the crowds gathered in the drizzle before the Althing, the Icelandic parliament.

A separate group of 200-300 people gathered in front of the city’s main police station demanding the release of a young protester being held there, Icelandic media reported.

Police in riot gear used pepper spray to drive back an attempt to free the protester during which several windows at the police station were shattered. The protester was later released after a fine he had been sentenced to pay was paid.

Iceland’s three biggest banks — Kaupthing, Landsbanki and Glitnir — collapsed under the weight of billions of dollars of debts accumulated in an aggressive overseas expansion, shattering the currency and forcing Iceland to seek aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

This week, the North Atlantic island nation of 320,000 secured a package of more than $10 billion in loans from the IMF and several European countries to help it rebuild its shattered financial system.

Despite the loans, Iceland faces a sharp economic contraction and surging unemployment while many Icelanders also risk losing their homes and life savings.

A young man climbed onto the balcony of the Althing building, where the president appears upon inauguration and on Iceland’s national day, and hung a banner reading: “Iceland for Sale – $2.100.000.000”, the amount of the loan Iceland is getting from the IMF.

The rally lasted less than one hour and as daylight began to wane, demonstrators drifted away into the nearby coffee shops where the price of a cup of coffee has shot up to 300 kronas in the last few weeks, up by about one third from before the crisis struck, as the currency has tumbled.

Opposition parties tabled a no-confidence motion in the government on Friday over its handling of the crisis, but the motion carries little chance of toppling the ruling coalition which has a solid parliamentary majority.

“I’ve just had enough of this whole thing,” said Gudrun Jonsdottir, a 36-year-old office worker.

“I don’t trust the government, I don’t trust the banks, I don’t trust the political parties, and I don’t trust the IMF. We had a good country here and they’ve ruined it.”
France 24

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Money as Debt

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The Dollar is the Economy

Bernanke Gets it Backwards


“The rise in retail prices is caused by‚Ķthe Federal Reserve creating excessive amounts of money and credit. High prices, therefore, are the RESULT of the ridiculous excesses of the Federal Reserve, not the cause.”


by The Mogambo Guru

I tried to watch Ben Bernanke’s question-and-answer appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, but there was Christopher Dodd, chairman of that committee, who is the guy I accuse of being directly responsible for the entire economic mess we are in, as the economic mess we are in is the same kind of economic mess that happens every damned time the banks are allowed to act irresponsibly, and this preening Congressional-doofus was in charge of questioning the head of the Federal Reserve to keep the banks from acting crazy and keeping greedy, corrupt, lying bankers in line. But he blew it, big time, and I shall never forgive Connecticut for electing this bozo.

Almost right off the bat, Bernanke implied that Milton Friedman was wrong, and that the whole Monetarist School of economics was wrong when they said that “inflation in prices is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon” – which is exactly, exactly right. Instead, Ben “Butthead” Bernanke says that inflation is caused, not by irresponsible over-creation of money and credit, but by rising commodity prices, especially the rising price of oil! Hahaha! What an idiot!

And ol’ Butthead says he is on the lookout for signs that the rising costs that producers of goods and services must pay are not filtering through to retail prices, and if he ever sees any inflation, he will take “action”! Hahaha! I can’t believe I am hearing this! Hahaha!

This Bernanke dim bulb, who apparently knows nothing about economics at all, was the chairman of the economics department of Princeton (which doesn’t say much for Princeton University), and is apparently unaware that Milton Friedman was right; the rise in retail prices is caused by a prior rise in the money supply, which is caused by the Federal Reserve creating excessive amounts of money and credit. High prices, therefore, are the RESULT of the ridiculous excesses of the Federal Reserve, not the cause.

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