Iceland: The plan for abolishing capital controls is… er, a “no-plan”

Posted 12/09/2013 - 09:14 by anrigaut

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2013-09-11 23

Again and again prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has been asked about his exact plans for the abolition of the capital controls. But so far, it is entirely unclear how the government plans to proceed on debt relief, the estates of Glitnir and Kaupthing, the issues concerning Landsbanki and ultimately the abolition of the capital controls. There are by now some indications that the two coalition parties find it difficult to advance on these issues because the two parties disagree much more fundamentally than has appeared hitherto. ...


Clear what the creditors want – unclear what the government wants

During the election campaign earlier this year Bjarni Benediktsson leader of the Independence Party and now minister of finance repeatedly said that abolishing the capital controls was easy and would not take long. That might be true if there were a plan in place to abolish them. That plan does not seem to exist – or at least, nothing credible has been heard of it.

The Central Bank of Iceland has clearly done extensive work in terms of clarifying the macro economic aspects of the economy. The estates of Glitnir and Kaupthing, as well as the creditors have also done extensive analysis of the financial situation of the estates.

The prime minister has indicated that he is now waiting for the creditors to make a move. However, he seems to ignore that the creditors have already made a move: both Glitnir and Kaupthing have presented a detailed draft of composition to the CBI – but so far no answer. It is abundantly clear to the CBI what the creditors want. The only unclear thing is what exactly the government wants to do and how it wants to proceed.