The article features a range of interviews with subjects including the current finance minister, Bjarni Benediktsson and chief executives of Iceland’s new banks, created in the wake of financial ruin.
“We are a new bank with new business ethics and a new way of doing things,” Steinþór Pálsson, the chief executive who was brought on to run Landsbankinn, told the New York Times. Landsbankinn is the largest of Iceland’s new banks though revenue from trading operations is 10% of what it was in 2006. Notably, after taking the helm at Landsbankinn, Pálsson went on a tour of the country inviting people to meet him and air their grievances, using the opportunity to introduce the bank’s new strategy.
The article does not only cover the positive aspects of Iceland’s new grip on the financial sector but also the hardships of Icelanders still struggling under debt, specifically inflation-linked loans.
“We’ve been hearing, almost weekly, ‘Oh look at this, everything is great,’” said Birgir Guðjónsson, a 37-year-old policeman who lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Reykjavik with his wife and two daughters. “We just have to look in our wallet to see the reality.”
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