I have no over-weening interest in Iceland, despite it being awesomely weird. I just took these photos of Iceland on the Risk board and wanted to post them. The full set is here. I also learned that putting out even a small fire is really hard, and I feel extra glad that the Mumbai Seige is over. Suketu Mehta (Maximum Bombay author) has a very nice Op-Ed on that. The Financial Times has an interesting letter from Iceland. They block me out after I read three articles, but then I just delete the FT cookies and start again. I used to read the foreign news to get away from it all, but now the foreign news is worse. I was actually reading about Indian business the night the seige happened, but that’s all fucked now. Trying to find some other country to mentally escape to.
FT on Iceland, and when a credit crunch actually hits a personal level. Because it’s hard to conceptualize as something real that affects people. Iceland is a bit of a case study because they borrowed more than 10 times their GDP, hence about $250,000 worth for every human on that isle. The US debt per person, by comparison, is about $35,000. Word on the street is that the Sri Lankan debt is like Rs 160,000 per (about $1,600).
The Icelandic kronaâ€™s freeze in the capital markets had now spilled over into the day-to-day transactions of Icelanders abroad. Holidaymakers and business travellers venturing â€œtil Ãštlandaâ€, as it is called, found their credit cards refused, and those wishing to buy foreign currency could not find willing sellers, aside from one or two who limited their purchases to â‚¬200…
On collecting our daughter from her handball practice, I learnt the news that her club could not obtain the foreign currency it needed to release their new team shirts from customs. The cityâ€™s myriad sports teams rely on local sponsors and our daughter also brought the news that this source of funding for her team was likely to dry up in the months to come. Later that evening, Skype, our communications lifeline, would not renew our credits with an Icelandic credit card.
Anyways, please tell me if you know of any countries with good news. I read the news for entertainment, and it’s not so entertaining anymore.