What is Human Capital Depreciation?

Iceland: reaping Icesave success – but capital controls are the unknown  June 20, 2016 – 01:21 pm
Human Capital Appreciation

Fitch Ratings have upgraded Iceland’s status – it is now BBB instead of BBB-. The upgrade, as a similar move by Moody’s recently, partly stems from the EFTA Court’s Icesave ruling, which has removed uncertainty of possible state liabilities. Fitch underlines the improved economic situation, not least the debt status of the sovereign, all moving in a positive direction and gives Iceland a slightly higher rating than Moody’s and S&P.

The capital controls are the great unknowns. But first, a few words on the situation in Iceland here and now, relevant to the capital controls.

In the wake of the collapse of the Italian political system, following the corruption investigations in the early 1990s, old powers in the new centre around Silvio Berlusconi found ways of conquering the political vacuum. The collapse of the Icelandic banks set the scene for similar movements, not only for power but for assets as well. Shortly after the collapse of the banks a person with a great insight into Icelandic society said to me that we would, in the coming years, see a fierce battle for assets and power in Iceland.

This battle is now taking place, centered around the ownership of the holding companies which control the two banks, Islandsbanki and Arion. The owners of these two holding companies are foreign creditors, ca half and half original creditors and funds that have bought claims. The crux of the matter is if the two holding companies will go through an orderly composition and a sale of asset at the best possible time or if the companies will be brought into bankruptcy, forcing them to sell off assets in a relatively short time, assumedly at a knock-down price.

Source: Sigrún Davíðsdóttir's Icelog

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