9 thoughts on “Iceland’s Big Thaw”

  1. I really can’t find much about in the article about any ‘Icelandic economic recovery’. Have you actually read it? Where are the facts and statistics to support the claim of recovery. It seems to be mostly about the post-recession eating and sexual habits of a number of Icelandics. The only facts I gleamed from it were:

    (a) Icelandic men like to meet Ukranian and Swiss girls on the internet (Ukranian I understand, but why Swiss? – surely they’d be a lot more expensive and are hardly desperate to come to Iceland?)

    (b) Iceland has won the World’s Strongest Man title eight times.

    (c) Iceland Has won the Miss World title three times.

    (d) Icelandics like to eat eam’s testicles.

    All very interesting no doubt, but hardly proof of economic recovery.

  2. @John the optimist
    Its the NYT – what do you expect – I just read it 5 minutes ago and the only thing I can remember from it is that they stole all our good looking women.

    So the Norse steal our women , the Hun take our Money and the Iberians get our fish ……….hmmmm, I can see a pattern here somewhere.

  3. The article could be about Ireland; people struggling to make the best of a bad situation.

    I agree with JTO that there is little evidence of recovery here, and as the author highlights about hopeful entrepreneurs: ‘Some of this was simply the rhetoric of the unfailingly optimistic businessman trying to put a shine on things. Just a month after my visit, the House of Ideas had to close its doors because of budget cuts.’

    Well what would life be without optimism?

    “The Icelanders came from Norway, but they were the younger sons, who didn’t inherit land, so they went to Ireland and got all the most beautiful women, and then they brought them here. That’s why we are the bravest men and the women are so beautiful.”

    Maybe we should give them Irish passports?

    The author writes: The real value of the economic crash, one young woman told me, was that “people are rethinking, Who am I as an Icelandic person?”

    A bit of blarney surely, given the experience in Ireland; I’m all right Jack!

  4. They refused to ‘socialise’ private speculative bank debt and what happened?

    The sky did not fall, they have 9% unemployment and they are still trading internationally and still have jobs only ‘fit for eastern European workers’.

    Not a bad start to a sustainable, export led, economic recovery.

    Enda would pull your arms off for 9% unemployment in 24 months.

    Blarney or not they are getting on with it.

  5. @JTO
    Yes, I had wondered about that too. I presumed he met the Swiss women while skiing but then I remembered that this was a second-hand car salesman with very thick glasses called Goofy! So maybe not not just their volcanoes spewing hot air.
    Iceland has its problems too. In many ways Ireland is in a slightly stronger position but as I see it the biggest difference between the two countries is that their ex-bankers are a helluvalot easier on the eye!

  6. @JtO
    Think you missed the poibt of the piece. One of the problems we have is that too many people seem to think what we had during the bubble years was somehow desirable. Quite a lot of us are gold to see the back of the tiger. “Vapid airheads” were not just an Icelandic phenomenon.

    “…they do seem to share a genuine sense of relief that their nation had given up its vision of becoming an island of Porsche-driving, Armani-wearing financiers. Gunnar Grimsson, an Internet entrepreneur, told me that Oct. 6, 2008 — when Iceland’s economy hit rock bottom, and the entire country was seized by panic — was also his son’s 16th birthday. “I went up to my boy, and I had already congratulated him on his birthday, but then I said, ‘Congratulations, you will now be able to live in a society which is closer to realizing what it is.’ ” I pressed Grimsson, asking why exactly he was so happy for his son. “After this,” Grimsson replied, “he had a much better chance of growing up to be a real person instead of a vapid airhead.”

  7. I noticed Iceland recently voted NO to the agreement to pay back The UK and The Netherlands over the deposits lost in Icesave. They may regret the decision as they will be stuck in limbo for the next few years as the thing passes through the international courts. What really got my attention was that the deal was for €5 billion (maybe £)!!!!
    I was thinking that we should cut a deal with them we will pay their 5 billion(what difference would it make) and they will negotiate for us. They seem to be much better at it than us. Maybe it is because they have the “bravest men” and the most “beautiful women” !!!!!!

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