Now Iceland is on the brink of bankruptcy. I recall the days when I was in London Business School, reading with amazement about Iceland's spectacular dealmakers and how they took over huge groups in the UK. I visited the country around 2000 and was very impressed with the country and wondered how this small country got so wealthy so quickly. I wrote about my amazement about the country's growth and development model in my book "The Greenland Sealhunter" (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/9812328904/qid=1106209929/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-4191525-7137430?v=glance&s=books).
LBS also had many Icelandic students, in numbers far exceeding the size of the population of the country - only 300,000 people live in Iceland. I recall that they were very intelligent, sophisticated people and vague impression that many are into complicated financial engineering stuff. Obviously, the American investment banking model had brought a great degree of prosperity to Iceland, which became one of the world's richest countries - perhaps the richest last year. Now it is on the brink of bankruptcy. We in Singapore have to be cautious not to over-reach ourselves.
Financial crisis: Iceland's dreams go up in smoke
What a difference a year makes. Only last November, Iceland's status as one of the most successful economies in the West was underlined when it was judged the best place to live in the world.