"Icelanders – or at any rate Icelandic men – had their own explanations for why, when they leapt into global finance, they broke world records: the natural superiority of Icelanders. Because they were small and isolated, it had taken 1,100 years for them – and the world – to understand and exploit their natural gifts, but now that the world was flat and money flowed freely, unfair disadvantages had vanished.
"'We were always told that the Icelandic businessmen were so clever,' says university finance professor and former banker Vilhjálmur Bjarnason. 'They were very quick. And when they bought something they did it very quickly. Why was that? That is usually because the seller is very satisfied with the price.''
"You didn't need to be Icelandic to join the cult of the Icelandic banker. German banks put $21 billion into Icelandic banks. The
"Maybe because there are so few Icelanders in the world, we know next to nothing about them. We assume they are more or less Scandinavian – a gentle people who just want everyone to have the same amount of everything. They are not. They have a feral streak in them, like a horse that's just pretending to be broken."
(pp. 22-3, 'Boomerang: The meltdown tour' by Michael Lewis - Landmark)