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Iceland: Commission Suggests Charging Officials with Negligence in Financial Crisis

(Sept. 16, 2010) On September 11, 2010, a nine-member parliamentary commission in Iceland recommended that the former Prime Minister of that country, Geir Haarde, be charged, tried, and punished for negligence in connection with the 2008 financial crisis. The commission also proposed that Solrun Gisladottir, the former Foreign Minister, Boergyin Sigurdsson, the former Commerce Minister, and Arni Mathiesen, the former Finance Minister, be charged. The Special Investigation Committee issued a 274-page report finding the four officials responsible for the crisis and the collapse of three banks. The report alleges that the ministers knew Iceland's financial sector was in trouble and did not take corrective action. The report went to the Parliament for debate on September 13. (Erin Bock, Iceland Commission Recommends Charges Against Ex-PM Over Financial Crisis,PAPERCHASE NEWSBURST (Sept. 12, 2010),
; Text of report [in Icelandic], parliamentary website, (last visited Sept. 15, 2010).)

This report comes just as bankers from around the world met in Basle, Switzerland and drew up new rules for international banking, to prevent the 2008 financial crisis from happening again. The rules will have to be ratified by the governments of the G-20 countries before they can be adopted. (PAPERCHASE NEWSBURST, supra.) Under the proposed rules, banks would have to have equity equal to seven percent of their loans and investments, an increase over the current minimum of two percent. Banking regulators from the United States said of the proposal that it “provides for a more stable banking system that is less prone to excessive risk-taking.” (Global Bankers Agree to New Capital Reserve Rules, BBC NEWS (Sept. 12, 2010),