Meltdown Iceland by Roger Boyes
Lessons on the World Financial Crisis from a Small Bankrupt Island

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The economic crisis that emerged in America in 2008 unleashed a veritable epidemic of ill health around the world. However it was Iceland, whose population of three hundred thousand had the world's highest GDP per capita and counted itself the happiest of countries, that caught the worst cold. It has nearly killed them.

No story from the economic crisis of 2008 is more evocative than I celand's. The names may be unfamiliar-Johanesson, Bjoergolfsson, Oddsson-but their exuberance, greed, and miscalculation have many counterparts on our shores. And however traumatic the collapse of individual companies may be in the United States, in Iceland's case an entire country melted down. All the wealth accumulated in the previous decade-during which a new breed of Icelanders had dared to believe they could compete economically on an international level, during which Reykjavik became the Capital of Cool-disappeared practically overnight. Iceland's story shows how closely the world economy is interconnected: The default on subprime mortgages in the U .S. led to the collapse of Lehman Brothers, which led directly to the run on Iceland's banks, which forced local authorities in Britain to switch off the heating in their classrooms.

With panache and color, Roger Boyes tells the inside story of the bankrupting of I celand: how it happened, the human dramas-from politicians to financiers to fishermen-that continue to swirl around it, and the lessons we can not ignore. Published on the first anniversary of its collapse, Meltdown Iceland is a cautionary tale for our times, an authoritative and compelling account of the financial destruction of a tiny country whose saga should resonate for us all.

About Roger Boyes

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Adam LeBor was born in London. As a journalist he has covered the Yugoslav wars for the "Independent" and "The Times", where he is now the Central Europe correspondent. He lives in Budapest.
Published October 6, 2009 by Bloomsbury USA. 256 pages
Genres: Business & Economics. Non-fiction

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As to whether Iceland be brought back from the economic grave, Boyes ventures that it is possible—but with more, rather than less, regulation of the sort that will increasingly be required to save capitalism from itself in other economies well beyond the island.

Sep 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Meltdown Iceland: Lessons on ...

And part of the anger – as hot and furious as any volcanic eruption – that runs through ordinary Icelandic society is the realisation that they have sold their birthright – a fair, well-educated, reasonably equal society with a full range of well-funded social services – for a mess of pottage.

Oct 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Meltdown Iceland: Lessons on ...

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