Geography Archives: Iceland

  • Lessons from a defeat in Europe

    The Troika are celebrating the end of negotiations with Greece, proclaiming that thanks to their tireless efforts the Eurozone remains whole.  And why wouldn’t they celebrate?  They have demonstrated their power to crush, at least for now, the Greek effort to end austerity and its associated devastating social consequences.  Tragically, Syriza has not only surrendered, […]

  • Wall Street, Small Business, and the Limits of Corporate Personhood: An Interview with Doug Henwood

    Sasha Lilley: Protests against Wall Street have inspired many people to move their money from big banks to smaller banks and credit unions and encourage others to do the same.  Why might you be skeptical of this effort? Doug Henwood: There are several reasons.  First of all, I think a lot of the big banks […]

  • Greece: Guarding Israel from Freedom Flotilla

    “@USBOATTOGAZA  Iceland Parliamentarian visits boat to show solidarity.  ‘Greece sold its economy to western banks and its politics to Israel.’” — Medea Benjamin, 2 July 2011 Carlos Latuff is a Brazilian cartoonist.  Cf. Fulya Özerkan, “Gov’t Pressure on İHH Divides Group before Flotilla Decision” (Hürriyet Daily News, 16 June 2011); Semih İdiz, “Why the Mavi […]

  • The Greek Crisis: Uttering the Other “D Word”

      Default is not the dirty word that nobody wants to say.  Almost everybody now accepts that Greece will default.  Several people will prefer to use the euphemism of “re-profiling debts,” but we all know what it means.  The interesting thing is that at least some authors, like Martin Wolf in a recent Financial Times […]

  • Rebellion of the Indignant: Notes from Barcelona’s Tahrir Square

    There is no doubt about it.  The wind that has electrified the Arab world in recent months, the spirit of the repeated protests in Greece, the student struggles in Britain and Italy, the mobilizations against Sarkozy in France . . . has come to Spain. These are not days of “business as usual.”  The comfortable […]

  • From Places Like Mine and Yours

    On the progressive potential of small, quasi-autonomous states (like Scotland, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, etc.). . . . The strong Scottish accent was conspiring with the noisy pub background to make it difficult for me to understand the words spoken in my ear by an imposing trade union figure.  Thankfully, I managed to decipher his words, […]

  • Congratulations to the People of Iceland!

      10 April 2011 Congratulations to the people of Iceland! The Repudiate the Debt Campaign welcomes and applauds the decision of the people of Iceland to reject the bank bail-out that would subsidise the wealthy elite.  They showed great courage in rejecting the terms and conditions and in resisting the pressure from the European Union […]

  • On the Result of the Icesave Referendum

      The Icelandic nation has now delivered its verdict and shouldered unequivocally the responsibility it is granted by the Constitution.  The turnout was high by Western standards, and this, together with the extensive and thorough debate in the run-up to the referendum, shows clearly how important the issue was to the nation. The people have […]

  • Plan B for a Post-Mubarak Egypt?

    “Freedom lies behind a door closed shut,” the great Egyptian poet Ahmed Shawqi wrote in the last century.  “It can only be knocked down with a bleeding fist.”  More than that is bleeding in the Arab world at the moment. The uprisings we are witnessing in Egypt have been a rude awakening for all those […]

  • Ireland vs Iceland

      . . . The travails of the lands of Ire and Ice are not so much at odds with each other and come down essentially to the same point — the size of banking assets to that of the general economy; but they do differ considerably in how the two economies approached the battle. […]

  • The IMF and Economic Recovery: Is Fund Policy Contributing to Downside Risks?

    Introduction The IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) projects world economic growth will slow, from 4.8 percent in 2010 to 4.2 percent next year.  Throughout the report, there are numerous concerns expressed about the “fragility” of the global economic recovery.  The Acting Chair of the Executive Board states that “[t]he recovery is losing momentum […]

  • Fiscal Discipline and All That

    Rarely has an economic idea had such a brief revival.  After several years of almost undisputed sway of monetarist ideology over economic policy makers across the world, suddenly Keynesian ideas were back in fashion, in particular the idea that active state intervention in the form of increased state expenditure is necessary to bring a market […]

  • Iceland after the Fall

      Financial crises and uncertainty go hand in hand; some make sacrifices and others plan on having to.  But how many countries stricken by the global crisis actually feel existentially threatened? Iceland does.  Since the start of the kreppa (“catastrophe” in Icelandic) in the fall of 2008, the small island nation of 320,000 has had […]

  • You Can’t Eat a Collateralized Debt Obligation: Why Money Doesn’t Make the World Go Round

    The global financial crisis that began in 2007 was clearly about money, credit, and finance.  For mainstream economists and politicians — from neoliberals like John B. Taylor at Stanford and Tony Abbott, through pragmatists like Barack Obama and Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, to Keynesians and social democrats like Paul Krugman at Princeton and John […]

  • Hooman Majd’s Postcard from Tehran

    Author and analyst Hooman Majd traveled to Iran last month and has published an initial report from his travels, “Postcard from Tehran,” in ForeignPolicy.com.  Hooman makes a number of important points in his article, which largely reinforce our analysis of Iranian politics since the Islamic Republic’s June 12, 2009 presidential election and of U.S/Western policy […]

  • The Erupting Insurrection

      By one swift, decisive act, it has paralyzed Europe’s airline industries for almost a week, delayed 64 thousand flights (and counting), affecting millions of travellers, reminding a whole continent that geography and distance still exist, while lessening the airlines’ carbon footprint by an amount equal to the annual output of several smaller states combined, […]

  • Capitalism and the Useful Nation State

    The nation state is once again proving its special usefulness as a vehicle for managing capitalist crisis.  Partly, this follows from the renewal of Keynesian monetary and fiscal policies.  Other key dimensions of state usefulness include its more direct provision of financial guarantees to private enterprises and its over-priced purchase of “toxic” assets (those that […]

  • Vote Here for the Dynamite Prize in Economics

    The Dynamite Prize in Economics, to be awarded to the three economists who contributed most to enabling the Global Financial Collapse (GFC), or more figuratively, to the three economists who contributed most to blowing up the global economy. Vote for three.  The candidates’ dossiers are below the ballot. View This Pollpolling Short List of Nominees […]

  • Can the Euro Survive?

    Among the many unfortunate features of capitalist history that tend to repeat themselves with depressing regularity is the conversion of crises of private activity in financial markets into fiscal crises of the state.  This is already happening once again, as the very expansion of public expenditure that was necessitated by the financial crisis (which itself […]

  • Securing Disaster in Haiti

    Nine days after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010, it’s now clear that the initial phase of the U.S.-led relief operation has conformed to the three fundamental tendencies that have shaped the more general course of the island’s recent history.  It has adopted military priorities and strategies.  It has sidelined Haiti’s […]