Joseph Stiglitz: Iceland Doesn’t Have to Rely on IMF Skip to content

Joseph Stiglitz: Iceland Doesn’t Have to Rely on IMF

In the opinion of American economist Joseph Stiglitz, who received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 2001, Iceland could manage without loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Nordic countries.

Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

According to RÚV, the Icelandic government has expressed its interest in hiring Stiglitz as their consultant after eight of its ministers met with him yesterday.

Stiglitz, along with a group of Icelandic economists, also participated in a well-attended symposium at the University of Iceland yesterday.

At the symposium, Stiglitz said that Iceland’s cooperation with the IMF had been successful so far, but questioned whether it should be continued.

“It may have been a cornerstone at a critical moment and they were perfectly right about that, given that the government of the time was the government that had made all the mistakes, was floundering,” Stiglitz said in an interview with RÚV.

Stiglitz stated the IMF should in fact be complimented on having treated Iceland in a fairer manner than other nations in the past.

“The question is, going forward? The costs and the benefits. And that’s really a judgment call that you’ll have to make. […] There are costs to the money and costs to potential restraint. And that depends on how flexible they are,” Stiglitz said.

Stiglitz told Fréttabladid that Iceland’s national resources give the nation its main advantage in regaining its strength, warning against foreign investments in Iceland’s energy market.

Recently, Canadian company Magma Energy controversially acquired shares in Icelandic energy company HS Orka. However, the acquisition has yet to be approved by Reykjavík City Council, which postponed its decision making on the matter last week.

The dispatching of the IMF loans to Iceland has been delayed yet again for an undecided period of time, RÚV reports.

Click here to watch the rest of the interview with Stiglitz on RÚV and here to read more about the delayed IMF loans.

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