Davos, as someone else has said, is where the rich gather to work out how to get richer. So, it’s a joy to see this Al Jazeera interview with Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, president of Iceland, explaining what they did right.
Many of us might already know the story of how Iceland saved their economy. They refused to bail out their banks, refused to push through austerity. They re-wrote their constitution after recognising that the financial crisis was also a political crisis. “We didn’t follow the prevailing economic orthodoxy of the last 30 years” – and you may be aware that this strategy has been entirely successful: they now have low unemployment and have, unlike Britain, returned to growth.
But what I wasn’t familiar with – and what the president explains so clearly here – is how this policy succeeded partly because it released those who had been tied up as bankers to use their expertise – often in technology – for more productive purposes.