Under the motto of “Iceland’s too small to fail”, an American hockey player has sought to help Iceland’s economy by spending money here, and encouraging others to do the same.
The Star-Ledger reports that New Jersey native Michael Dee felt bad for Iceland when the banks collapsed in 2008. Determined to do whatever he could to help a first-world country that still has one of the highest standards of living in the world, he sent out mass e-mails to his friends with his plan in mind.
The plan, dubbed “the Great Iceland Ice Hockey Bailout”, was to gather as many friends as possible, come to Iceland, and inject cashflow into the economy by partying. In all, about 100 hockey players came to Reykjavík and spent about $200,000 USD in four days – most of it on alcohol, Dee admitted.
“It was pretty wild,” Dee told the Star-Ledger in part. “Some of the guys figured they were bailing out Iceland by buying drinks for every girl in the bar. I helped out, too.”
They also took part in the Iceland Air Cup hockey tournament, with the $25,000 USD they spent on fees split between the local Red Cross and a local youth hockey team.
Dee and his friends intend to come back to Iceland next fall, and he said that a big part of his mission was boosting morale as well. “We did well over $1 million of morale boosting,” Dee estimates.