A storm is coming By Frederik Obermaier and Bastian Obermayer
The interrogation room in which Iceland’s recent history was rewritten is sparse, furnished only with a table, some chairs, and a computer. A camera is fixed to the wall, and the frosted, double-glazed windows have completely blocked out the sound of the gale-force winds in Reykjavik’s Faxafloi Bay.
It was in this room that some of Iceland’s most powerful bankers, executives, and investors had to answer to special investigator Olaf Hauksson. A tall man with a heavy build, Haukkson has spent the past six years investigating the transactions that brought Iceland’s economy to its knees in October 2008.
At the time, the country’s three biggest banks folded within just three days, in part because their senior executives had illegally doctored the stock listings of their own banks. “Market manipulation”, as Hauksson curtly calls it.
When asked what happened to the three bank bosses in the end, Hauksson grins. “They all went to jail,” he says, pointing to the empty chairs. “They sat right there.”
Olafur Hauksson has only just begun to wrap up proceedings for the biggest scandal in Iceland’s history. And it’s entirely possible that the publication of the Panama Papers will trigger the next one.