Insider Stories from Iceland

The literature on the Icelandic crisis is growing.  While the report of the ‘Truth Commission’  is eagerly awaited, it is also very interesting to read insider accounts of the crisis.

I found Why Iceland?: How One of the World’s Smallest Countries Became the Meltdown’s Biggest Casualty by Asgeir Jonsson to be an excellent read.  Jonsson was the Chief Economist at Kaupthing Bank.

A new release is Frozen Assets: How I Lived Iceland’s Boom and Bust, which is written by Armann Thorvaldsson, a former CEO at Kaupthing in the UK.

While it is illuminating to read such insider accounts,  it is also important to recognise the inherent trade off:  such individuals have access to non-public information and can provide a unique perspective; however, by the same token, the interpretations offered in such books are not necessarily fully balanced.

Still, it would be very helpful if senior figures in the Irish banks provided such insider accounts of the boom and bust in the Irish banking system.