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Never Ignore An Elf March 5, 2009

Posted by Dwight Furrow in Culture, Current Events, Dwight Furrow's Posts.
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The plight of Iceland has been in the news recently. Their banking system bought up huge quantities of foreign assets, worth far more than the country’s GDP. When the asset values plummeted the whole country went bust.

And now we know why. According to this Vanity Fair article by Michael Lewis

“Alcoa, the biggest aluminum company in the country, encountered two problems peculiar to Iceland when, in 2004, it set about erecting its giant smelting plant. The first was the so-called “hidden people” — or, to put it more plainly, elves — in whom some large number of Icelanders, steeped long and thoroughly in their rich folkloric culture, sincerely believe. Before Alcoa could build its smelter it had to defer to a government expert to scour the enclosed plant site and certify that no elves were on or under it.

So now we know why the Icelandic banks went under—they must have built on a site occupied by elves, who are known to get very cranky when people ignore them.

Sound bizarre? Well—there are people in this country who believe in angels, devils, and the health of our financial system.

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1. Paul Moloney - March 5, 2009

Ouch! I happen to believe in the health of our financial system!

2. Moriae - March 5, 2009

Another angle on what went wrong in Reykjavik is to be found in the New Yorker, March 9, 2009, pages 39-47.

3. Paul Moloney - March 6, 2009

Even though there may not be an elf, there is an Alf; he’s been documented on TV. Ha!

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