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  #1  
Old 11th October 2008, 19:28
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Basil Basil is offline  
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Iceland

. . getting a wee bit of a come-uppance
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  #2  
Old 11th October 2008, 20:02
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Unfortunately it also means that you won't get any fish and chips after a while.
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  #3  
Old 11th October 2008, 21:44
Santos Santos is offline  
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OH NO not the King Edward War again

Last edited by Santos; 11th October 2008 at 21:52..
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  #4  
Old 13th October 2008, 11:55
tenterden tenterden is offline  
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the people of iceland, must be feeling like every british deep sea trawlerman of the 1970s, with an uncertan future, no job, no money, no redundancy,no future. as the saying goes (what goes around comes around!!)
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  #5  
Old 13th October 2008, 13:38
Pat Hughes Pat Hughes is offline  
 
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If there is a nationality on this earth who can 'hard nose' it and survive the Icelandic people are the ones. It will be like water of a ducks back.
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  #6  
Old 13th October 2008, 15:17
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Beer there has dropped from Ģ6 a glass to Ģ3 a glass.
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  #7  
Old 14th October 2008, 18:58
billblow billblow is offline  
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Pat
Not just the Icelanders who'll be "hard nosing". The Icelandic company Bakkavor are about to close two factories in Grimsby with the loss of 530 jobs so a lot of Grimmies will be "hard nosing" as well. With all the knocks this towns had in the last few years we're bloody good at it as well.
Bill
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  #8  
Old 15th October 2008, 00:11
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Kenny&Debra Kenny&Debra is offline
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Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by R58484956 View Post
Beer there has dropped from Ģ6 a glass to Ģ3 a glass.
HA HA...love it....at least that is one good thing to come out of it....and if they don't supply our chip shops...good....more need for the quotas to change for the Scots and English then !!!!
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  #9  
Old 15th October 2008, 01:48
Norm Norm is offline  
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Alex Salmond was always pointing to Iceland as an example of how Scotland could be independent!!! Now however the Icelanders owe their hides to Russia. Another Cuba??
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  #10  
Old 15th October 2008, 05:38
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Kenny&Debra Kenny&Debra is offline
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Question

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Originally Posted by Norm View Post
Alex Salmond was always pointing to Iceland as an example of how Scotland could be independent!!! Now however the Icelanders owe their hides to Russia. Another Cuba??
Apparently he talks of Norway as a good example of independance more than Iceland...and he is right about a certain person in number 10 actually being the cause of all this mess.....and that person is trying to get one over the Scots by spreading this rubbish about Iceland...what's new !
We are perfectly capable of going alone...he is trying and not succeeding in scare mongering.
Sorry... gets me mad people talking politics on forums...best leave it anywhere else but here.
Debra
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  #11  
Old 16th October 2008, 12:42
birgir birgir is offline  
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Well everyone, It is nice to see that some of you can revel in our misfortune.

I however, am one of those who do not see this as a misfortune, but rather as a neccessary cleansing, a catharsis.

In the short term, this is a blow. The financial sector had become a bigger part of the national economy than the fishing sector. So, in one sense, we have suffered a bigger loss, than if all the fish had disappeared from the see.

But a banking sector that is 12 times the GDP is far to big for the nation (i.e. the state) to "guarantee" it. Even Britain cannot bail out itīs financial sector if needed. (Britainīs financial sector is 4 times the British GDP). Therefore everybody is desperately trying to "restore confidence".

The problem is the existence of equity bubble, that is deflating. Stocks, shares, real estate, companies, (and not least "goodwill") have become grossly overvalued. You cannot adjust claims to value that does not exist, to "reality" (which is just some level that can be sustained over time), without some people loosing all their claims, because others will loose nothing, and some will make huge profits by picking up assets on a fire-sale.

One of the great things about Iceland was its smallness, which allowed for openness not possible in bigger societies. The the great annoyance of "haves" the tax lists are public. You can see how much everybody is making. Rich men paying no taxes, (yes they are always around), therefore at least get mocked for their "poverty".
All through last century, successful skippers were at the top of the income list. And the income distribution was fairly even in global terms. In recent years, one group parted company with the rest of society, the top echelons of executives and experts in the banking sector. People far down the ladder in the banks were making 5 or 10 times the money, that previous top cats, (skippers, or managers of old companies) were making. You can guess that people are not wailing their hearts out, that these people suddently found themselves out of a job.

About owing the russians. Well, it is said, that it is only in need that you discover who your true friends are. Britain is Icelands biggest trading partner. It is probably culturally closer than any other country, (Man.Utd and Liverpool have a stronger hold on more peoples heart, than anything else, save the national handball team.). After the Icelandic national football team, the English is most acutely watched. I saw on the web today that Austin Mitchell was critizising Brown for his handling of the crisis. Good for him, because Brown has acted very stupidly. The biggest "Icelandic" bank (Kaupthing) had managed to diversify itīs operating structures, and spread the risk, that it would have survived the crisis, if Brown had not abused the anti-terrorist legislation to shut down the british branch (KSF). Nobody gains from it, a lot loose. And the British government faces lawsuits from all the loosers, for abuse of power. (What Brown seems to have been doing was to hit back at "Iceland", irrespective of the fact that companies are seperate "legal personas" and you canīt hold company B responible for the actions of an unrelated company A.)
(However, Kaupthing was a company I really disliked, because they led the way in fat-cattism, but I must grant to them that they were shrewder bastards than the rest.)

The offer of a huge Russian loan came as a surprise, and one really wonders what a certain Abramovitch wants from it. (He is reputed to be one of itīs major sponsors.) The Russians are insisting that there are no strings attached, which is very smart, because there is a great latent goodwill in Iceland towards Russia. People still remember that it was the Soviet Union that came to the rescue in 1952, when British trawler owners tried to break the Icelandic economy by closing the british fresh fish market. If the Russians play their cards right, they can gain a lot. I have already noticed a switch in the public discussion about recent events in Georgia. But Iceland will never become an economic dependency of Russia.

About Iceland, (or Norway) as a model for independent Scotland.
The question nowadays is what is really independence?
The crisis has revealed that economic independence is non-existant in an open, globalized economy. There is a huge debate raging in Iceland, whether it is tenable to have a seperate currency, in an open market. The verdict seems to be no. You cannot have an independent fiscal and monetory policy, and free trade simultaneously, unless you are as hideously rich as the Norvegians are, (which deters speculators from attacking your currency.)

However, the existence of a seperate currency now allows the state to divide the burden of the collapse much more equally, than would have been possible if we didnīt have our own currency. Devaluation takes wealth from everybody. 1 bottle of beer will only fetch 3 pounds, for everyone. A strong and stable currency favours the "haves", in deflation, some loose all, others nothing.
Taking myself as an example, I loose directly about half my personal savings, 20 percent of my retirement accounts, my purchacing power in imported goods is halved, but in domestically produced goods and services should only go down by about 10 percent. All loose something, but very few loose everything, (and those who loose most are the ones who have overspent most improvidently). I do not worry about the future. I expect to be back at the old level in 10 years, hopefully on a more solid founding. The main thing is that the structure of our welfare state will survive.

Regards.

Birgir Thorisson

Last edited by birgir; 16th October 2008 at 12:52..
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  #12  
Old 16th October 2008, 13:03
K urgess K urgess is offline
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A nice piece, Birgir.
Thanks for the Icelandic point of view.
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  #13  
Old 16th October 2008, 13:36
birgir birgir is offline  
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Thank you Marconi Sahib.

About fish and chips. The Bank collapse hasnīt yet affected marine biology, (fishing stocks), so the amount of fish on the market will not change. However, Icelandic fish-exporters are complaining that no transactions are getting through the British banking systems, so all transactions have to be re-routed to the continent. In the worst case, you will have have to take a trip over the channel for "fisch-und schips."

Birgir
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  #14  
Old 16th October 2008, 13:42
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gdynia gdynia is offline   SN Supporter
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Birgir
Very well put
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If theres a way theres a will
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  #15  
Old 16th October 2008, 14:13
BarryJ BarryJ is offline  
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Birgir –

"En morgum teksk verr en vill, ok verðr þat morgum, at þá fá eigi alls gætt jafnvel, er honum er mikit í skapi." (Hrafnkels Saga)

Barry
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  #16  
Old 16th October 2008, 14:27
trotterdotpom trotterdotpom is offline  
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Thanks for an interesting post, Birgir. All the Western countries seem to be going through the same problems because there's no physical product behind all the money shuffling.

Beware of Russians bearing gifts - have a look at who's running that country these days.

John T.
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  #17  
Old 16th October 2008, 15:26
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davetodd davetodd is offline  
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The early comments in this thread regarding "Come-uppance" , "Fish and chips" "Beer price halved" have been soundly put into their rightful place by Birgir's well thought and written comments.
The current financial situation affecting many people in many countries is not caused by fishing vessels or fishermen.
Nor, come to that, the general population.
Greed, is and always has been the cause of financial as well as political failure.
The Iceland Government set progressively further fishing limits over the years to protect their main source of income for survival. Quite understandably.
The so called "Cod Wars" were nothing more than an expression of greed by large companies who's main interest was profit for the shareholders.
And it was not limited to the UK fishing companies.
Polish, German, Russian and other fleets were regular "Scoopers" of the fish stocks.
More than once was fish sent to meal factories because of "low market prices"
However, whenever any crew of any vessel, regardless of nationality, found themselves in need of help, then the people of Iceland would give it, no questions asked.
Any seafarer in trouble anywhere in the world can normally count on help from another seafarer.
No shareholder or financial institution would offer more than a letter of sympathy to your dependants, if they new who you were!
My support to you Birgir and your kin in Iceland.

Final point. Respectfully to the Moderators:-
I am surprised that this topic has been allowed to remain in "Fishing Vessels" thread. The comments carry political and somewhat unhelpful remarks I thought.
Perhaps more suited to the Mess Deck or Chat Room.

Regards
Dave Todd
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  #18  
Old 16th October 2008, 17:22
K urgess K urgess is offline
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The remark about fish and chips was because of the current situation in Grimsby and soon Hull both of which rely on Icelandic fish for the local market and whose food industry has been heavily invested in by Icelandic companies. It had nothing to do with fishermen other than by association.
It was factual and had nothing to do with politics. Just facts of life.

As to being in the fishing vessel forum.
It was started possibly with the fishing community in mind and has moved on from that but you've just brought it back to fishing and seafarers, Dave.
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  #19  
Old 16th October 2008, 19:21
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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My thanks also for your most interesting and informative post Birgir.
Peter4447
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  #20  
Old 16th October 2008, 21:04
tenterden tenterden is offline  
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HERE ARE SOME FACTS OF LIFE "bigir"
(its nice to see some of you revel in our misfortune)
the icelandic goverment of the 70s put 10,000 british trawlermen out of work,when it happend the icelandic people were dancing in the streets of reykjavik, do you call that respect
(PM BROWN)
brown only did what the icelandic goverment did by banning british trawlers from there waters they call it "looking after national interests"
(THERE IS GREAT GOODWILL IN ICELAND TOWARDS RUSSIA)
well there would be now the cold war is over, i think the russians remember keflavik & americans
most british fishermen of the 70s had no savings, to loose they lived hand to mouth, trip to trip,as for goverments they have no respect, we are little fish in a big ocean, sometimes you have to take it on the chin, after all the british fishermen and there familys of the 70s did
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  #21  
Old 17th October 2008, 14:35
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Kenny&Debra Kenny&Debra is offline
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Wink Thanks Bigir !

Thanks Bigir !
If there has to be politics on here at all, then it was nice to see it from the other side of the coin...so I for one am really greatful for you explaining the current situation to us unknowledgables ha ha
As for the fish and chips and the beer...it was just a funny joke, no harm meant there I think...I certainly didn't think it was meant to offend anyone....just a bit of banter !
And as for closing this thread...it seems interesting so far...as long as everyone doesn't get on their high horse about politics...info is helpful to see the whole picture...so thanks again Bigir for enlightening us menials lol
We learn and appreciate !
Lovvies, Debra x x x x
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  #22  
Old 17th October 2008, 20:47
birgir birgir is offline  
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Tenterden

Regarding your comments: about the icelandic government putting 10.000 british trawlermen out of work, with no future.
With 20 men to a trawler, that makes 500 trawlers. They (the distant water trawler fleet) were far fewer than that, by the seventies. No future? I have the book by John Nicklin, "Trawlings with the lid off". He at least regarded his afterlife as far superior to his trawling time, which he doesnīt give a high mark.
One of the most noticable things about british trawlermenīs memoires is the very bad "labour relationship" that seems to have characterized it. (As a comparison, (and excluding Hellyers in Hafnarfjordur 1924-29), I have one Icelandic trawlermen critizising his employers in his memoires, even tho many trawlermen very far to the left, and almost all trawler owners right-wing.).

The general attitude in Iceland in the 1970īs (and actually from the 1930īs) was that there wasnīt enough fish in the see for everyone, and that Icelanders had a prior right to their fishing grounds. It was simply a matter of survival to get rid of the foreigners.

There is however a very interesting debate raging among marine biologists, about why the quota system, (imposed in the mid-eighties) has failed to rebuild the fishing stocks, whereas the largely uncontrolled overfishing in the Barentīs sea has produced much stronger stocks of cod. (The present yield of the Icelandic cod-stocks (yes in plural) is only about 70% of what the British trawlers alone were fishing in the sixties.)

What Brown did, was not looking after the British national interest. Wrecking a solid bank out of spite, (Kaupthing), hurts even British interests. As was mentioned, the company Bakkavor is closing down in Grimsby. I donīt know if you are aware of the connection between Bakkavor and Kaupthing bank. Bakkavor, a good production company, became in the, by-now gone equity bubble, the controlling interest in an investment company, called Exista, which was again the controlling interest in Kaupthing bank. Therefore, the un-neccessary slaughtering of Kaupthing by Brown, (abusing the anti-terror legislation) is threatening Bakkavor. It seems that Brown was trying to score points, in a bad domestic political position by trying to bully the Icelandic government.
The status of the Icesave accounts are still murky. On one hand, It is still claimed that the assets IN Britain will cover the liabilities in Britain, on the other hand it is unclear how these assets can be realized. "Investors" are flocking to Iceland, offering to buy these assets, at a fraction of their nominal value. A forced "fire sale" will lead to losses, I presume.

The goodwill towards Russia stems from WWII, when there was also a great popular support in Britain (remember the slogan, "All help for Russia"). It was enhanced during the cold war. The readers here are probably unaware of how great the opposition to the membership of NATO, and especially the american military base at Keflavik, was in Iceland. That opposition went far beyond the political far left, which supported the soviet union. The reason was that with independence finally won in 1944, it was axiomatic to a large part of the population that independence equalled neutrality, especially because Iceland had no army or navy, and therefore should keep out of international affairs. (Irish neutrality may be of the same origin.) Also, from 1952, about a third of foreign trade was with the Soviet Union.

Iceland is a small country. Rapid population growth has increased the population from just about 130.000 in 1944 to 320 thousand today. What makes us a nation is our seperate language, and ancient culture. Both are vanishing at a rate that I would have thought completely unthinkable two decades ago. What is killing it is the overwhelming anglo-american pop culture. (The Anglo-part is far more popular with cultural snobs, like myself).
I expect, If I reach 80 years, (am now 45), to outlive the Icelandic language.
This worries me far more than any economic issues.

Birgir Thorisson
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  #23  
Old 17th October 2008, 21:40
K urgess K urgess is offline
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Another excellent measured response Birgir.
Many thanks.
I know nothing above the fact that I cannot access the money I have in Icesave. Luckily it is nowhere near what it could have been had the housing slump not come slightly before the credit crunch.
Just like you try to buy the cheapest petrol or bread, Icesave was the best deal for savings. Nothing political or financially greedy about it, just plain common sense.
Just like wanting to keep the foreign trawlers out of our waters or the British trawlers out of Icelandic waters.
Cheers
Kris
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  #24  
Old 17th October 2008, 21:55
Santos Santos is offline  
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Personally I think that greedy and reckless Bankers all over the world are responsible for the current crisis and no one country in particular is to blame, except perhaps for the U.S. of A who has been trading dangerous fiscal policies for some time and leading the world behind it. As one country gets affected, so in turn it affects another and it is how that affected country reacts, which determins whether or not there is good or bad feelings between them.

Unfortunately Iceland because of its financial industry - has affected this country quite badly as its financial problems have become apparant. However I didnt hear the GOVERNMENT or all those Councils and people with money in Icelandic banking and raking in a very nice interest rate, creating this time last year or even six months ago. No they were doing alright thank you, having found what they thought a good investment just like we all look for.

If Brown is as good as he thinks he is, why are we in the mess we are in, surely he should have seen it coming if he is that good and prepared the country for it. He and his policies are mainly responsible for what the UK is now going through and his hastily concieved rescue plans are purely tools to try to make him look good and extract this country and most importantly himself from the SH1T he has got us all into.

By the way Tenterden - official figures put the loss of fishermen due to the Cod Wars as 1,500 which roughly equates to 75 trawlers. Also 7,500 shore based people lost their jobs. Bad enough I agree but not 10,000 fishermen.


Chris.

Last edited by Santos; 17th October 2008 at 22:02..
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  #25  
Old 17th October 2008, 23:27
benjidog benjidog is offline
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I spend a lot of my time working in banks and find that most of the employees have just one head the same as the rest of us.

We have to all share the blame for what has happened because we are all greedy - and I include myself in this. We have put our money in places offering the highest returns without considering the consequences, and the banks have fought each other over interest rates, return on investment etc. to persuade us to invest with them.

When the going was good, we didn't give a damn about banks gambling the money, making bad investments etc. Now it has gone wrong we cannot absolve ourselves entirely from what has happened. I have money in the Nationwide Building Society and voted for them to go public as I would get a payoff. They didn't and guess what - of the old building societies they are one of the few remaining ones after mergers/failure etc.

It is so easy to blame other people isn't it? "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!".
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