Daily Archives: January 18, 2012

Claire Jones

When IMF officials travelled to Iceland in the summer of 2008, they pronounced the health of its financial sector to be good.

The banking system’s reported financial indicators are above minimum regulatory requirements and stress tests suggest that the system is resilient.

IMF, Iceland: Financial Stability Assessment – update, 19 August 2008

Within two months, the island’s three biggest lenders had collapsed, leaving its economy in tatters. Read more

Ralph Atkins

Upheaval continues at the European Central Bank. It is scarcely two months since Mario Draghi took over as president, and little more than two weeks since two other members of the six-man executive board (Germany’s Jürgen Stark and Italy’s Lorenzo Bini Smaghi) left Frankfurt. Now jostling has officially started to succeed José Manuel González-Páramo, whose eight-year term as executive board member expires in May.

Determined to secure a continued top level Spanish presence in Frankfurt, Madrid has nominated Barcelona-born Antonio Sáinz de Vicuña, an ECB veteran who heads its legal department. But it is not a foregone conclusion that he will get the job. In more northerly eurozone countries, resentment about the dominance of southern Europeans may result in an alternative candidate emerging – and another damaging political row over the central bank’s leadership. Read more