Global Insider: The Icesave Crisis

Earlier this month, voters in Iceland rejected for the second time a referendum that would have implemented a plan to repay the U.K. and the Netherlands for losses stemming from the collapse of Iceland's banking industry. In an email interview, Fridrik Mar Baldursson, professor of economics at the Reykjavik University School of Business, discussed the Icesave crisis.

WPR: What is the background of the Icesave crisis?

Fridrik Mar Baldursson: Before the financial crisis, foreign branches of Landsbanki, one of Iceland's failed banks, collected deposits in Internet savings accounts in the U.K. and the Netherlands marketed under the "Icesave" brand. When Landsbanki collapsed in October 2008, authorities in those countries paid out deposit insurance to depositors in Landsbanki branches. Iceland's portion of the deposit insurance amounted to $5.9 billion at current exchange rates, or 40 percent of Iceland's 2010 GDP. The $147 million contained in the Icelandic deposit insurance fund could only cover a fraction of that.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.