Icelandic crowns from an ATM
From: Counting the Cost

Lessons from Iceland

What can the eurozone learn from Iceland’s 2008 meltdown?

It has been three years since the Iceland’s banking system collapsed, which may have been the best thing that could have happened for the country.

Iceland was the first nation to fall victim to the 2008 credit crunch. It also became the first Western European nation to get a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in more than three decades.

The nation’s three largest banks went on a $100bn spending spree, financing international acqusistions and construction projects. The money spent was more than seven times the nations GDP of $14 bn.

There was a big overspend which got Iceland into trouble, and as a result the banks were nationalised, while the economy and currency, the krona, essentially collapsed.

But rather than bailing out the banks, lawmakers were pursuaded by public revolt not to takeover the debts of the banks.

This week on Counting the Cost, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, Iceland’s president, discusses his thoughts on the eurozone crisis, what countries should learn from Iceland, and how austerity measures worked for his country.

Also on the show the McLaren MP4-12C, made its Middle East debut at a new showroom in Dubai. It is a project from McLaren Automotive, part of the famous F1 racing team. They are not cheap, starting at around $230,000, but there is already plenty of interest, with over 2,700 pre-orders already in place.


Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.

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