“An important book about the events of the 2008 financial crisis, Øygard writes prose that is as clear and economical as that found in an Icelandic saga – and the story he tells is no less dramatic.”
Member of the European Parliament, former French magistrate, former advisor to the Ministry of Justice and Ecclesiastical Affairs, Icelandic government and former French presidential candidate
“This is the amazing story of a radical break with previous established international practice on how financial crises should be addressed which proved amazingly successful and altered financial crisis management practice. It’s told by an insider with an outsider’s perspective: it’s frank, colourful, very personal and it even manages to be a fun read. I just regret that I didn’t have the opportunity to read it before the Swedish financial crises of 1992 and 2008.”
Former Swedish Minister for Industry and Trade, and former Swedish Minister for Culture and Education
“There is no better way to study and try to understand the dynamics of the largest financial crisis since 1929 than by reading the accounts of the key leaders that had to manage, mitigate and ultimately resolve the crisis. Svein Harald Øygard’s book on how he handled the crisis in Iceland – the country most affected by the 2008 financial crisis – is an immensely important story. This book serves, in part, to remind us all what to do to avoid such catastrophes in the future.”
Former Director, McKinsey & Company and former Leader of EMEA Banking practice, McKinsey & Company
Dr Christian Casal
“Iceland’s financial and economic crisis had two parts: classic macroeconomic boom and bust driven by capital flows and the first European banking crisis of the single market. Their interaction was both complex and destructive. Svein Harald’s personal involvement in the early rescue work has given him insight and passion to produce a highly readable account of the story.”
Former Governor, Central Bank of Iceland
“A thorough and analytical book which also has a free narrative form characterized by the author’s own encounter with the financial industry, the people and the politics in Iceland. It gives economists a rare opportunity to look into the financial world.”
Former Director, the Financial Supervisory Agency of Norway
Bjorn Skogstad Aamo
“The story is incredible (no dry economics!), with sharp observations and exceptionally precise sarcasm. It’s simply fun reading and, of course, important with lots of lessons to learn from!”
Chief economist, Sparebank1 Markets and Norway’s highest-ranking chief economist
Harald Magnus Andreassen
“This is a book that cannot easily be placed in a single genre. In part it is Øygard’s memoirs, in part it is an analysis of financial and economic crises and in part it is an account of the historical crisis of Iceland. The book is interesting, educational and at times actually fun.”
Journalist, Nordic Business Daily DN
“Imagine if, out of the blue, you were asked to be the Governor of the Central Bank of Iceland. Many would consider this strange, especially at a time when the country was bankrupt, the people had taken to the streets and everything appeared hopeless. Even stranger would be to accept the job. That is precisely what Svein Harald Øygard did, and he has written an exceptionally good book about this experience.”
Head of Information, Finans Norge and former editor, Dine Penger
“The Norwegian mountain man tells us what really happened, why it happened, what the consequences were and what was to blame.(..) It is of great value that a man who was not entrenched in everything that has happened here in the last two decades, has undertaken to research, analyze and write a story like this. (..) The battle over the history needs to be continued."
Editor-in-chief, Icelandic magazine Kjarninn
Þórður Snær Júlíusson
"Very exciting. Incredibly well written and very educational. One can learn a lot from the book, and not only about the crisis in Iceland. The worlds of finance and of economics are often viewed separately, but here we can see how they interact, illustrated by numerous cases not previously revealed.”
Economist & Former CEO of Norfund Private Equity
Svein Harald Øygard var sentralbanksjef på Island i 2009, året etter finanskrisen. Mellom 1990 og 1994 jobbet han som statssekretær i Finansdepartementet og var med det blant de som igangsatte tiltak for å hjelpe Norge ut av bankkrisen på den tiden. Utover dette har han 21 års bakgrunn i konsulentselskapet McKinsey & Company med rolle som partner, direktør og senest leder for den norske satsingen.
Fra februar 2009 tiltrådte han som midlertidig sentralbanksjef på Island. Dette gjør han til en av en håndfull ikke-borgere som noen gang har ledet en sentralbank. Rollen ga han unik innsikt i Islands befolkning og dens institusjoner, så vel som de mektige kreftene bak det globale bankmarkedet. Fra innsiden kunne han observere hvilken enorm påvirkning en av verdens verste kriser hadde på innbyggerne og ikke minst landets øverste ledere.
Grunnlaget for krasjet ble lagt gjennom et halvt tiår da de ledende aktørene innen global finans tok stilling til Island. Gjennom krasjet ble de politiske aspektene stadig viktigere. Venner oppførte seg som fiender og nye fjerne venner kom til unnsetning. Deretter ble det igjen en kamp mellom noen av de sterkeste kreftene i global finans. 20 av de 50 største amerikanske hedgefondene kom til Island. Boken forteller historien.