One day later

Protesters burn Landsbanki's flag today

Protesters burn Landsbanki's flag today

Iceland is not an independent country.

Yesterday the country agreed to a 2 billion USD loan with the IMF so that the banking system can be restarted. It is estimated that we need at least 4 billion more which will hopefully come from friendly nations.

The future implications are bleak. Ten percent regression in the economy, 20% drop in purchasing power. Yesterday almost 100 people lost their jobs at Kaupthing bank from of a workforce of around 1.000. The bank, now nationalized has laid off 250 people this year. More layoffs might be on the horizon.

A few hundred people demonstrated downtown today. Actually there were two demonstrations. Anarchy does not organize itself, although some of the organizers have been accused of hunting for glory. We’ll see.

Lots of columnists, especially female columnists are claiming that it is time women had their turn governing in the big companies and in government. As if they have been sitting on the sidelines for the last few years. Two of the three managers of the new banks are women who were on the management team in the former banks that went bust, Elin Sigfusdottir at Landsbanki and Birna EInarsdottir at Glitnir. They both declined to disclose their new salaries although they are paid by the taxpayers. The only male bank-manager, Finnur Sveinbjornsson disclosed his salary and surprise, it was higher than Birna’s who then disclosed hers. A good start to the gender-politics of New Iceland, but to his credit Finnur asked his salary to be lowered to the same amount. Elin still does not want to tell us what we are paying her.

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