Proving to the world that even bankers aren't above the law
Iceland has jailed four bankers for market manipulation in a landmark case which sets a precedent for the rest of the world. The verdict relates to corruption at the Kaupthing bank, which collapsed after the financial crisis in 2008 due to fraud at the highest levels. Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, Kaupthing’s former chief executive, former chairman Sigurdur Einarsson, former chief executive of Kaupthing Luxembourg Magnus Gudmundsson, and Olafur Olafsson, the bank’s second largest shareholder at the time, were all sentenced this month to between four and five and a half years.
The sentence given is the heaviest penalty in the country’s history, and Iceland‘s special prosecutor said it was evidence that it is possible to crack down on financial fraud without any adverse effect to the economy. Iceland has a reputation for taking steps that other countries have until now refused to even consider, such as nationalizing their banks. This radical change has boosted the Icelandic economy and leaves other European countries trailing miserably behind. More detail in the The Young Turks news report below.