Filthy rich or rich in a filthy way

If Iceland has an Imelda Marcos, a Ceaucescu or a Mugabe, a politician who profits obscenely through connections and power then that politician is Finnur Ingolfsson.

Finnur was the minister of industry before the turn of the century when he suddenly quit, citing unfair criticism that was dragging him down. He then became one of our incredibly qualified Central Bank Governors before disappearing. Then the banks were privatized early in the decade and all of a sudden Finnur was a billionaire.

Today, Morgubladid again strikes journalistic gold, yet again Bjarni Olafsson and Finnur’s profits from Icelandair are dragged into daylight. A company called Langflug bought 32% of Icelandair from FL Group in October 2006 at 27 per share, therefore paying 8,6 billion ISK. Finnur’s  company called FS7 then bought 25% in Langflug for 1 billion ISK in December 2006. If Finnur had bought 8% in Icelandair at 27 per share he would have had to pay 2,3 billion. In August 2007 Finnur on the other hand exchanged his shares in Langflug for shares in Icelandair and got those 8% which he promptly sold at 32 per share, or for 2,5 billion. Finnur was in this enviable position through his influence in a co-op fund that noone knew existed until last year, but had been used by Progressive Party honchos without the owners’ knowledge to become filthy rich.

More about the co-op fund later.

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