Hook, Line and Sunk
Dubbed the 'New Vikings', Iceland's bankers had taken the world by storm. But a year ago their banks collapsed overnight, leaving the country to face economic chaos. Have the lessons been learnt?
Like thousands of once-prosperous Icelanders, Gunnar is concerned about his future: 'I'm going to lose my flat. I'm going to get bankrupt. All because of the way things were handled here.' Turning a blind eye, the government let banks grow ten times the size of the country's GDP. Very little profits were made from actual banking. Banks only grew by spending other people's money, especially that of the British. 'It's one of the greatest Ponzi schemes in history.' Says this independent MP. Now Britain wants it all back, leaving Icelanders with a huge debt. With the financial world keen to move on, economists warn of the business-as-usual mentality: 'If we don't make some quite serious structural changes we are just setting the conditions for a repeat crisis.'FULL SYNOPSIS