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There is an alternative…

Cyprus and Iceland are both small island economies heavily dependent on tourism and fisheries, in the first case, sardines and in the second case cod (and some whales). And oh, both islands knew overblown financial sectors as well as a severe financial crisis. One of the islands reacted by writing down debts and jailing corrupt bankers. The other one by (after a heroic struggle against the Troika) evicting house owners and paying (foreign) banks and financial institutions. Hmmm…



  1. Tom Welsh
    February 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Real democracy – in the very few times and places where it has, briefly, flourished – springs not from nobility of spirit but from the existence of a very tough, determined, outspoken community of citizens who simply will not let themselves be cheated, robbed, or trampled underfoot in any way. It was the same in late medieval and Renaissance England: liberty was never given, it always had to be taken – through extreme violence if necessary.

  2. February 26, 2016 at 5:53 pm

    Lovely post Merijn

  3. February 26, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    May I translate this article to Portuguese and publish it my blog explicitly attributing the credits to the author and blog and including a link to this original post?

  4. louisperetzperetz
    February 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Is that means you prefer eating sardines instead of whales ?

  5. February 26, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    Fantastic! I put it here http://zerowastenews.org/index.html Okay?

  6. February 27, 2016 at 5:26 am

    The article and comments are all interesting. But to paraphrase Eric Hoffer, any working person knew all this years ago. Why did economists take so long to figure it out?

    • blocke
      February 27, 2016 at 8:44 am

      From an historians viewpoint, there is a lot of economic determinism in this post, which makes it so much fun for economists but suspect because they haven[t rounded up all the explanatory characters..

  7. mc
    February 27, 2016 at 11:25 am

    never see in these comparisons any indication whether Iceland is a member of the EU or the monetary union and what effect that might have on whether the EU or monetary union would care about or retaliate fully against its success the way they would about a member successfully breaking free and threatening their legitimacy and/or survival.

  8. February 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    Great graph. Perhaps, maybe it should be titled; Employment results from write downs vs. foreclosures.
    This graph could also be used to show that because the banks violated their fiduciary duty
    when they gave the right to ‘first approval’ of foreclosure to the purchasers of the MBSs,
    the Fed had to help the banks with money and not the borrowers with “restructure” since they (Fed) were by the banks “contractual agreement with the secularization” no longer were allowed ‘to change the MBS’.
    Major loan failure is a bust but not “systemic” or capable of “monetary collapse”.
    Banks violating their fiduciary duty…is.

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