"Why Iceland?" is the inside account of one of the economic meltdown's most fascinating and far-reaching tragedies. As Chief Economist of Kaupthing Bank, the country's largest bank before the collapse, Asgeir Jonsson is perfectly suited to examine Iceland's collapse in painstaking detail. He witnessed behind-the-scenes events firsthand, such as an intriguing meeting in January 2008 when a group of international hedge fund managers gathered in a bar in Reykjavik to discuss Iceland's economy ‘an informal affair that eventually became the center of a criminal investigation by the country's Financial Supervisory Authority.
This inside account examines the pressing issues behind history's biggest banking collapse:
• How did Iceland transform itself from one of Europe's poorest to one of its wealthiest countries?
• What happened to cause the destruction of the nation's banking industry during a single week of October 2008?
• Was it the result of a speculation 'attack' by hedge funds on the nation's currency?
Why Iceland? provides the who, what, where, and when of Iceland's demise, serving as a fascinating read and providing the understanding necessary for forecasting when and where the aftershocks will shake up markets in other parts of the world.
"Fearsome Vikings discovered Iceland. Hedge funds knocked it down. It was a humiliating tumble for the former financial powerhouse, which was proud of its status in Europe. A late bloomer, Iceland had been the last country in Europe to be settled, the Nordic nation rapidly caught up with its wealthier relations. It was all fine until October 2008, when country's banking system collapsed in a week. Written by an Icelandic economist, Why Iceland? chronicles the meltdown, in the context of the nation's history."--New York Post (A "Required Reading" Selection)
Ásgeir Jónsson is chief economist and head of research at Kaupthing Bank, the largest bank in Iceland until the nation's banking collapse. He previously served as assistant professor of banking and international finance at the University of Iceland. Ásgeir Jónsson is the author of several books on his nation's history and economy. His book "Why Iceland?", published in August 2009, gives an inside account of one of the biggest losses of the economic meltdown.