Glass-Steagall in Iceland Parliament This Week
October 26, 2012 • 8:53AM

Yesterday, Icelandic parliamentarian Álfheidur Ingadóttir re-introduced her bank- separation resolution, which has 16 co-sponsors, in the Icelandic Parliament, Althingi, followed by a one-hour debate. The resolution calls for the Finance Ministry to prepare guidelines to implement a full bank separation by February 1, 2013. The resolution will now be considered by the Economic and Trade Committee, and then come up for a vote in the Althingi.

The debate occurred after last week's release of a banking reform report by three "wise men," which called for seriously considering Glass-Steagall-style reform, but it is known that Finance Minister Steingrímur Sigfússon thinks that this was not strong enough.

During the debate, in addition to Álfheidur, the resolution's second co-sponsor, Helgi Hjörvar, the chairman of the Economic and Trade Committee, spoke in favor of the resolution; and Pétur H. Blöndal from the Independent Party, the only party which had not had a member on the co-sponsor list, stated that the only reason why their party had not done so, was that they had their own bank-separation proposal. This leads one to believe that they will also support the resolution when it comes up for a vote, which is expected to occur at the end of November.

There was also a new editorial in London's Financial Times calling for full Glass-Steagall bank separation, with a polemic against Vickers' ring-fencing, and the Volcker Rule, on Oct. 18, after testimony in the British Parliament.