How Iceland Dealt with a Volcanic Financial Meltdown


Iceland was unique in that they handed over jail terms to bankers.

Gylfason believes that when a country goes through a major economic shock, in addition to getting its financial house in order – which Iceland successfully accomplished at the behest of the IMF — it also needs to clean up its act in the judicial and political realms. “We have a mixed picture here,” he says. “Thirty-nine bankers were awarded prison sentences by the Supreme Court of Iceland, to the tune of 2.5 years on average. This means the amount of prison time in man-years that the Supreme Court handed out is close to 100.” He admits some critics have alleged that “the small fry were sentenced, while the big fish got away. This raises sensitive questions about equality before the law. But we will know more once the Supreme Court hands out its last sentences in 2019.”

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Iceland’s battle against digital extinction


Iceland’s struggle to save its Icelandic language.

For centuries, the Icelandic language has held off influences from foreign lingua franca like Danish and English. But today, there is a new threat: technologies that can only be operated in foreign languages, even at home. Apple’s voice assistant,Siri, for example, does not understand Icelandic (although Google Translate does, thanks to an Icelandic engineer who worked at the California-based company, according to legend). Half of the world’s 7,000 languages are at risk of disappearing within this century.

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Caitlin Hu — Quartz

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