Commentary - 05/22/2008

Financial Predators Attack Iceland

Posted on Huffington Post Monday (5/19/08) was this article:
Scandinavians Arrange Emergency Funds to Keep Hedge Fund Pirates From Destroying Iceland

The latest news is that Björn Gudmundsson, an economist at Landsbanki, said the Bank of England might need to join the Nordic front to stop the crisis spreading. This would be on top of an emergency credit facility put in place this past week by Norway, Sweden and Denmark of 1.5 billion Euros to support the Icelandic Krona from an attack by hedge funds. These hedge funds are wielding what Warren Buffet calls 'Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction' (a.k.a. derivatives), who have targeted the country with short-selling 'bear raids' to try and drive the 300,000 people living in Iceland and their economy into bankruptcy for a quick buck.
Apparently, Iceland's investors have been loaned billions of pounds to make investments in Britain. This is how financial predators operate. They push credit lines to investors just like they pushed sub-prime loans to home buyers. In other words, they turned on the credit tap. Those who hesitated to partake were made to seem like losers, but obviously there is no free lunch, ever, for those who partake from the credit tap.

Now that those who had turned on the tap have figured to have made about as much as they can, they now turn the credit tap off. This allows them to make even more shorting the currency as it knowingly collapses. The financial predators are the ones who moves the whip's handle, while others try to follow the whip's lash. They decide when to zig, while others can only zag.

Even though Iceland has 1/10 the population of the United States, it demonstrates a valid example of our own problems here in the States. When the Federal Reserve was pushed down America's throat in 1913, Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. said that, "From now on, depressions will be scientifically created."

On April 2, 2008, TimesOnLine published this article: Why Iceland melts under weight of dancing bears

Iceland has declared war on bears, not the fur-clad ones but financial spivs which Geir Haarde, the Icelandic prime minister, believes are out to wreck the country's banking system.

He blames bear raids by hedge funds and stock market manipulation for spinning the island's economic problems into a full-blown financial crisis.

But why would anyone do such a thing? Well, one good reason might just be Alcoa and Century Aluminum. The article also says:
Iceland's almost inexhaustible supplies of cheap geothermal energy have attracted huge projects from Alcoa and Century Aluminum.
National Geographic magazine has recently published a feature article on this in their March 2008 issue.
In the fall of 2006, secluded, faraway Iceland found itself at a turning point. A remote highland wilderness was being flooded—this to create a reservoir measuring 22 square miles as a power source for a new [Alcoa] aluminum smelter. The dam that went with the reservoir was the tallest of its kind in Europe (the continent Iceland is conventionally associated with), and the land was going to be irreversibly changed: highland vegetation submerged, waterfalls and part of a dramatic canyon dried up, pink-footed geese and reindeer herds displaced. Environmentalists around the world were condemning the flooding as an attack on one of Europe’s last intact wilderness areas—they called it “the drowning”—and the Icelanders themselves didn’t know if they were headed for an economic boom, an economic bust, and/or the greatest environmental disaster in European history.
Take a look here at who controls Alcoa. It's interesting that slightly more than 1% of the Major Holders control almost 40% of the shares. These same Major Holders are also the same TOP 10 Major Holders in our major money center banks and major investment banks. Amazing, isn't it? And these Icelandic folks think they're going to get help from the British banks? Perhaps, but who knows at what price.

This is the reason that I've started to use the term "financial predators." It's never enough, whether they destroy a business, a city or an entire country. Many books have been written about them, and a select few can be found books">here.

Cecil Rhodes, a classic example of a financial predator from the past, is quoted as saying:

"To think of these stars that you see overhead at night, these vast worlds which we can never reach. I would annex the planets if I could; I often think of that. It makes me sad to see them so clear and yet so far."
Of course, Rhodes scholars continue to be groomed to this day for that particular effort. The country that used to be named Rhodesia is now Zimbabwe, where their $10 million paper note will buy two loaves of bread. At least, fairly recently you could do that. According to the United Nations World Health Organization, the life expectancy for men is 37 years and the life expectancy for women is 34 years of age, the lowest in the world in 2006. Maybe that's what they're trying to do in Iceland and then the United States.

Just another reason that: Sometimes The Dragon Wins

Symbol Name Of Corporation

Alcoa Inc. (As of 31-Mar-2008) (As of 30-Jun-2007)
Top 10 Institutional HoldersShares2007Value2007
Capital World Investors43,587,4005.35%$1,571,761,644-.--%
State Street Corporation35,169,4794.31%$1,268,211,412-.--%
AXA (Paris, France)31,203,5713.83%$1,125,200,770-.--%
Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings Ltd28,883,5113.54%$1,041,539,406-.--%
Vanguard Group, Inc. (The)26,125,4633.21%$942,084,195-.--%
FMR LLC (Fidelity)25,833,5003.17%$931,556,010-.--%
Blackrock Group Limited19,916,9122.44%$718,203,846-.--%
Allianz Global Investors of America L.P. (Munich, Germany)16,149,6541.98%$582,356,523-.--%
Wellington Management Company, LLP15,935,1221.96%$574,620,499-.--%
Highfields Capital Management L.P.15,403,0501.89%$555,433,983-.--%
% of Shares Held by All Insider and 5% Owners:0%-.--%
Top 10 [1.3%] of 758 Institutional Holders Control31.68%-.--%
Percentage of Barclays and "Associates" Control10.29%-.--%
NOTE: Vanguard manages four funds that control 3.18%.
Capital Group manages two funds that control 2.47%.
Washington Mutual manages a fund that controls 1.82%.
Therefore, the TOP 10 Major Holders control 39.15%, and
Barclays/Associates control 12.11% of Alcoa.
Capital Group controls 7.82%.

© 2008 by Edward Ulysses Cate
Help Support This Site
Commentary Index: