The US may need to assemble a panel for over a year to reach the main conclusions from the financial crisis, but thanks to one turn on the Citi merry-go-round, several Norwegian municipalities have already completed the job. Should the seven municipalities pull off a major upset and win their $200 million lawsuit against the now $5/share company for their investment losses, those gains would pale in comparison to some of the valuable life lessons learned over the past several years.
"The small communities who went to the market all hoped to get rich," a chastened member of Vik's city council, Morten Oystein Holmberg, said in an interview at his home overlooking the gentle rapids of the Vikja River bubbling toward the Sognefjord. "As politicians, now we know we are not entitled to gamble with citizens' money. That's my conclusion."
But it's not just politicians in Norway who have a new outlook on the world. The folks who were supposed to help represent the municipalities' interests also see the world differently now.
"The only ones who made money from these investments were the issuer and the broker," (lawyer Jon) Skjorshammer said in his sleek offices overlooking an Oslo boat slip. "And now the lawyers," he added, chuckling softly.
This has been a great laugh alright. No doubt people couldn't contain themselves when the elderly were sleeping in the halls in nursing homes as a result of this non-stop comedy show. Hopefully next time Citi just sends some Tickle the Vickle dolls for those craving humor.