Thursday, October 16, 2008

Under the Glacier

There's a set of Op-Eds at the NYT giving different perspectives of the current financial woes as seen from different European countries. The article from Iceland is especially poignant, things there are a tad bleak:
When the Reykjavik stock exchange reopened on Tuesday after three days of suspended trading, its index, dominated by bankrupt financial institutions, had lost 75 percent of its value.
Plus, their currency is almost worthless. And they've had to learn that their so-called friends are no longer clustering around:
We thought we had friends, in Europe and in the United States. They were sought in the hour of need and found to be busy with their own problems; only the Scandinavians were prepared to extend a helping hand, and then, all of a sudden, Russia — somehow the world has changed. The disappointment with our old “friends” is great and people ask, did we really behave any worse than the others?
Never having been there, my vision of Iceland is shaped by the wonderful 'Under the Glacier', by Halldór Laxness. This article reminds me of the good embi, the narrator of the novel, and his bemused resignation to the strange problems one can be faced with up there.


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