World

Welcome to Iceland, Where Bad Bankers Go to Prison

Kviabryggja Prison in western Iceland doesn’t need walls, razor wire, or guard towers to keep the convicts inside. Alone on a wind-swept cape, the old farmhouse is bound by the frigid North Atlantic on one side and fields of snow-covered lava rock on another. To the east looms Snaefellsjokull, a dormant volcano blanketed by a glacier. There’s only one road back to civilization.

This is where the world’s only bank chiefs imprisoned in connection with the 2008 financial crisis are serving their sentences, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its forthcoming issue. Kviabryggja is home to Sigurdur Einarsson, Kaupthing Bank’s onetime chairman, and Hreidar Mar Sigurdsson, the bank’s former chief executive officer, who were convicted of market manipulation and fraud shortly before the collapse of what was then Iceland’s No.?1 lender. They spend their days doing laundry, working out in the jailhouse gym, and browsing the Internet. They and two associates incarcerated here — Magnus Gudmundsson, the ex-CEO of Kaupthing’s Luxembourg unit, and Olafur Olafsson, the No.?2 stockholder in the bank at the time of its demise — can even take walks outside, like Kviabryggja’s 19 other inmates, all of whom were convicted of nonviolent crimes — via redwolf.newsvine.com

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