The government of Iceland is using the threat of a €4 bn loan from Russia in exchange for a 99-year lease on the airport at Keflavik – a former American air base – as leverage to obtain financial support from the West. This is high-stakes poker -not without risk to Iceland, if their bluff is called. I would have securitised the future revenues from hydro and geo-thermal power generation before bringing on the Red Army. It does show, however, that there may be more collateralisable assets around for governments to draw on than one might have thought. Good news for Chancellor Darling.
© The Financial Times Ltd 2013 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.