A Tale of Two Crises: Socioeconomic Comparison of Iceland´s Herring Collapse in 1968 and Banking Collapse in 2008 Public Deposited

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  • 40 years ago the Atlanto-Scandian herring stock collapsed with severe consequences for Iceland´s monotonic economy at that time. Two years ago the international credit crisis brought the country´s largest banks to insolvency, which shocked the whole economy with butterfly effects in neighbouring countries. The paper begins with an overview of the Icelandic economy, then models the herring collapse and finally describes and compares the effects, negative and positive, of these two crises from an economic, sociological and political point of view. After 1968 gross domestic product and currency rate decreased, but unemployment, emigration and inflation increased. Some economic indicators recovered surprisingly soon because of new resources, diversified industries, an extension of the exclusive economic zone and improved fisheries management, but high inflation and political instability persisted. The immediate aftermath of 2008 is similar, however starker, but no windfall recovery is to be expected. The fisheries will reach culmination, although added value is potential, and exploitation of renewable energy resources may take their place as the most important industry. Rapid globalization of Iceland´s financial activities during the last decade created complications and controversies over foreign debts, which could have long-lasting impeding consequences and delay the necessary reconstruction of fisheries management, industrial companies and social institutions. An attempt will be made to predict the uncertain future economic development according to national and international statistics.
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  • Sigurdsson, Thorir. 2010. A Tale of Two Crises: Socioeconomic Comparison of Iceland´s Herring Collapse in 1968 and Banking Collapse in 2008. 12 pages. In: Proceedings of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 13-16, 2010, Montpellier, France: Economics of Fish Resources and Aquatic Ecosystems: Balancing Uses, Balancing Costs. Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2010.
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