A must-read piece in weekend FT by a writer in Iceland. It is wonderfully written, specific, and filled with context on what it is like to live in a first-world country teetering at the edge of solvency, and without access to trade/currency.
A drive across town later that afternoon, October 6, at first gave grounds for comfort. The roads were as full as usual for the Reykjavik rush-hour â€“ a half-hour build-up of traffic. Aircraft flew in and out of the downtown airport, students made their way home from schools and universities â€“ note the plural â€“ while visitors went to hospitals and fitness fiends to sports clubs. Reykjavik showed all the outward appearances of carrying on.
But a different picture began to emerge from the hourly news bulletins on the car radio. The Icelandic kronaâ€™s freeze in the capital markets had now spilled over into the day-to-day transactions of Icelanders abroad. Holidaymakers and business travellers venturing â€œtil Ãštlandaâ€, as it is called, found their credit cards refused, and those wishing to buy foreign currency could not find willing sellers, aside from one or two who limited their purchases to â‚¬200.
Read the whole thing.