Iceland-Friendly Debt Expert a “Vulture”? Skip to content

Iceland-Friendly Debt Expert a “Vulture”?

Alex Jurshevski, an expert on the debt problems of sovereign states who was interviewed on RÚV’s political chat program Silfur Egils on Sunday, said in an interview three years ago that he was hoping for a global economic crisis. If so, he could profit extensively from the undervaluation of assets.

In August 2007 when the real estate market in the US was about to collapse and people began fearing an economic crisis was impending, the Canadian news website macleans.ca ran a story on so-called “vultures” who were considered likely to profit from the crisis, RÚV reports.

One of the “vultures” named in the article was Alex Jurshevski. When asked whether he believed a credit crunch would spread beyond the housing sector, Jurshevski replied: “I hope so. All the bad loans have already been made. They’re just waiting to turn bad, like fruit left out on the counter.”

In the article Jurshevski is said to have ISK 60 billion (USD 474 million, EUR 349 million) stowed away in a special fund, which he indented to use to make bargains once the crisis hit.

He is quoted saying: “We’re waiting for the flood. Everyone else will want to get out and we’ll be able to start pricing risk the way we want to price it.”

In a television interview with the Canadian channel Business News Network more than two years later, Jurshevski was asked whether he would use his money to buy Dubai in a fire sale after the state’s economy collapsed.

Jurshevski said he had no interest in Dubai; that project would prove too time-consuming. However, he was interested in various other places where he could show up, make money and disappear with the profits in two to three years.

On Silfur Egils on Sunday, Jurshevski advised Icelandic authorities against taking further loans from the International Monetary Fund.

Click here to read more about this story and here to watch the interview with Jurshevski on Silfur Egils.

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