Good timing

The current prime minister of Iceland sold almost all his remaining assets in a major Icelandic bank’s investment fund on the day the government seized control of the country’s collapsing financial sector at the peak of the 2008 crash.

According to leaked documents, Bjarni Benediktsson, then an MP on the parliament’s economy and tax committee, sold several million króna of assets in the Glitnir bank’s fund in the final days and hours before an emergency law placed Iceland’s failed financial institutions under state control.

Apparently no laws were broken so that’s good then.

5 thoughts on “Good timing”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    US Congress has long exempted itself from insider trading laws. Harry Reid in particular is clearly a superior investor who has been able to turn a modest government salary into vast wealth.

  2. Indeed it is remarkable how politicians in general become so wealthy on their measly salaries. They must keep a tight rein on their household budgets. No doubt they also clip coupons and never pass up on BOGOF offers at the supermarket.

  3. Reminds me of a post on the “overheard in the Goldman Sachs elevator” twitter:

    “Congress is exempt from insider trading laws and yet only half of them are millionaires. Bunch of losers”

  4. To be fair, we were living in the UK at the time and had our ISAs in an Icelandic bank.

    One morning I said to SWMBO “I’ve got a bad feeling about Iceland” and repatriated our money.

    A couple of days later, they crashed. I certainly didn’t have any insider information.

  5. To be fair, “moving” money on the day isn’t likely to protect it in the event of a financial collapse. It would take a couple of days to clear the funds through the settlement process, and it would secure a likely better price if the deal was done before the news became public, but we don’t know that was the case.

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