Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Iceland's financial collapse....and Bjork


The first of my Iceland dispatches is on the front page of tomorrow's Christian Science Monitor: an article, sidebar, audio clip, and "Reporters on the Job" piece focused on the causes of that country's financial meltdown -- the most profound in world banking history on a per capita basis, according to the International Monetary Fund.

As you'll read, hear, and see, Iceland privatized its banks and then allowed them to rapidly outgrow the economy and society that, ultimately, was expected to back them up if the worst happened. The worst did happen, leaving ordinary Icelanders to pick up the tab for the bankers' hubris.

The audio clip highlights the peculiarities of the diurnal cycle at 64N this time of year; the reporters on the job feature touches on Icelandic cuisine; and the sidebar talks about Bjork's attempts to save Iceland. (For reasons of space, I couldn't add her parallel campaign to oppose further expansion of her country's aluminum sector.)

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