Iceland Prime Minister

Topics: Criminology, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Bank Pages: 2 (499 words) Published: December 7, 2012
Matthew Yeager Memo #1 Iceland's ex-PM rejects charges over banking meltdown
In 2008 Iceland faced a financial crisis as a result of the Icelandic banks collapsing in a course of a week during October 2008. The banks in Iceland collapsed under the weight of its debts after a huge growth in the banking industry. Iceland's Prime Minister at the time Geir Haarde is facing criminal charges of negligence for failing to prevent the financial crisis.

In this article by the Associated Press, Iceland's now ex-Prime Minister Geir Haarde is refusing to pled guilty to the charges. Mr. Haarde says that the collapse that left many people unemployed could not have been predicted and that the government did not fully understand how severe the debt was within the country's banks. Mr. Haarde stated that not even the Financial Supervisory Authority realized the banks illegal activities and lack of accountability for their actions.

What happened in Iceland in 2008, in my opinion is not so much a state crime to be blamed on Mr. Haarde, but more of a white collar crime committed by individuals in the banking sector. White collar crime can be defined as: illegal and unethical acts that violate fiduciary responsibility of a public trust committed during the course of legitimate occupational activity, by persons of high or respectable social status for personal or organizational gain (Yeager, Lecture 1). This is evident in the fact that when the banking sector was booming, growing to nine times the small nations annual gross domestic product, the people involved with these banks kept getting more and more greedy and ignored the reality of their debt. The crime occurred within and occupational context with economic gain as the primary motivator (Yeager, Lecture 1). The prime minister (state) did display negligence because he did not realize what was happening in his nation, but the primary problem...
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