Member of Althingi Rejects Björgólfson’s Claims Skip to content

Member of Althingi Rejects Björgólfson’s Claims

Tryggvi Thór Herbertsson, a member of Althingi, Iceland’s Parliament, rejects claims by Björgólfur Thór Björgólfsson, Icelandic billionaire in 2007, to the effect that Herbertsson tried to get Landsbanki, owned by Björgólfsson and his father Björgólfur Gudmundsson, to save Askar capital in 2008. Herbertsson, an economist, was CEO of Askar Capital until he took over as economic advisor to Prime Minister Geir H. Haarde in 2008. As such he took part in various discussions with the banks on possible mergers and takeovers.

Member of Althingi Tryggvi Thór Herbertsson. Photo: Althingi

Herbertsson said in an interview on that he completely rejects Björgólfson’s claims on what happened in 2008: “In the beginning of August 2008, I had many discussions with Björgólfsson on the merger of Glitinir Bnak and Landsbanki. The main idea was that the foreign business of Glitnir would be taken into the Danish bank owned by Kaupthing bank, and the domestic part would go into Landsbanki. I had contacted Sigurdur Einarsson [Chairman of the Board of Kaupthing] and he expressed interest on behalf of Kaupthing. I also had discussions with Jón Ásgeir [Jóhannesson, biggest owner of Glitnir and CEO of Baugur group] but these talks ended in August in a meeting with Björgólfur Thór Björgólfsson and [his father, Landsbanki Chairman] Björgólfur Gudmundsson. In that meetin Björgólfsson said that he did not want to increase his risk within Iceland and they would rather do this themselves later in the year.”

Herbertsson continued: “It is absurd that I talked about Askar Capital in connection with this and that I tried to mix Carnegie into the deal is a clear lie. I had an agreement to quit my job at Askar Capital when I went to work for the Prime Minister, so I had no financial stake in Askar.”

Herbertsson also said that it is flase that he was not trusted by the Prime Minister as Björgólfsson claimed. In conclusion Herbertsson quoted Eva Joly. “Joly predicted that as time went on the main players in Iceland’s downfall wolut start attacking others to distract attention from themselves. This is happening now.”

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