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They couldn't see why they should pay for the greed of foreign investors who followed the Siren song of high interest rates to the island nation. Natural resources, such as wind, hydro-power and geothermal energy. On a bookshelf below, there are books on risk management and global finance.
Jónsson only shakes his head wearily when asked if he has a guilty conscience. Hoskuldsson, a large man with a gentle voice, just returned from a 40 day fishing expedition in the Arctic Ocean on a 60-meter trawler, the Reval Viking, during which a couple hundred tons of shrimp and halibut were caught.
In 2008, Iceland experienced one of the most dramatic crashes any country had ever seen. The island, an unlikely geological accident, has existed for some 18 million years, but has only been inhabited for 1,100 years.
Since then, its recovery has been just as impressive. A pile of lava pushed out of the Atlantic that could eventually disappear again, it's affectionately called "The Rock" by residents.
Since 2011, the gross domestic product has been on the rise once again, most recently at 2 percent. They all snap downward in the fall of 2008 before showing a gradual climb starting in 2010. Jónsson clearly enjoys the surprise on his guest's face.
What's more, salaries are rising, the national debt is sinking and the government has paid off part of the billions in loans it received in 2008 from the International Monetary Fund ahead of schedule. Jónsson was head economist for Kaupthing Bank, one of the three Icelandic banks that leveraged far too much debt and crashed overnight in 2008 following years of unprecedented growth.
Shortly after the crisis, the state opened all of its fishing sites, allowing every citizen to catch and sell up to 650 kilograms (1,433 pounds) per day when fishing is allowed, which has prompted many amateur fishermen to spend evenings and weekends on the water.Today, he views the banking job as a mistake motivated by the promise of high bonuses.It's the way many Icelanders speak of that time: They feel deceived by the country's elite and their big money, the mechanisms of which they hardly understood.In 2010, German banks had over 20 billion in open claims in Iceland."Germany has a weakness for Iceland," says Jónsson, who now works as an economics professor in Reykjavik.
Studierte Germanistik, Linguistik und Philosophie in Bern und Frankfurt a. While trudging through a lava field within view of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the guide says: "Iceland is the asshole of the world." That, too, is a positive statement. In Iceland, which lies on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and thus on the dividing line of the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, the earth has a tendency to relieve itself through various geysers, volcanoes and hot springs.