Daniel W. Drezner

Iceland redux

I have a book review in today’s Wall Street Journal of Why Iceland? by Ásgeir Jónsson.  The closing paragraph:  The greatest value of "Why Iceland?" is the window it may open on the country’s mind-set. Mr. Jónsson ­devotes page after page to the international culprits that allegedly helped to scupper the economy. In one chapter it ...

I have a book review in today’s Wall Street Journal of Why Iceland? by Ásgeir Jónsson.  The closing paragraph: 

The greatest value of "Why Iceland?" is the window it may open on the country’s mind-set. Mr. Jónsson ­devotes page after page to the international culprits that allegedly helped to scupper the economy. In one chapter it is hedge funds. In another, rating agencies, aiming their malice at Iceland in ­particular. Finally, it is a cabal of central bankers who, it is claimed, froze Iceland out of the help they could offer and forced it into the arms of the IMF. None of this is convincing. In the end, Icelanders who want to find someone to blame for their woes may want to look at themselves.

That’s a bit harsher than I intended — Iceland is not solely responsible for theire predicament.  Still, the lack of self-reflection about what happened is quite extraordinary. 

I’m not a big fan of this book, but a great book on this case is dying to be written. 

 Twitter: @dandrezner

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