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Frozen Assets: How I Lived Iceland's Boom and Bust [Hardcover]

Armann Thorvaldsson
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 11.55 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

2 Oct 2009
Iceland truly lived the boom and bust. Once a tiny country on the edge of Europe, in less than two decades it became a global financial powerhouse. This is the story of how one man, one bank and one country experienced and affected the course of world economic history. Armann Thorvaldsson, a former CEO at Kaupthing in the UK, tells the story of how his company was transformed into a £6 billion international bank, by far the largest in his country’s history. Helping to build the biggest names in Icelandic business, Thorvaldsson represented the money behind such household names as easyJet, Matalan, Iceland and Karen Millen. As the boom got bigger, the Icelandic bankers worked and played hard with their international clients, including Gordon Ramsay, the Candy brothers, Mike Ashley and Robert Tchenguiz. Moving from Reykjavik to London, Monte Carlo and St Tropez, they seemed unstoppable. Yet, when the bust came, even the most frantic attempts to save the bank were fruitless, leading to the total collapse of the Icelandic economy. Thorvaldsson’s reflections on exactly what happened and why, make compelling reading.

Frequently Bought Together

Frozen Assets: How I Lived Iceland's Boom and Bust + Meltdown Iceland: How the Global Financial Crisis Bankupted an Entire Country + Why Iceland?: How One of the World's Smallest Countries Became the Meltdown's Biggest Casualty
Price For All Three: 33.06

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; First Edition edition (2 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470749547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470749548
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 16.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 555,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

This is the story of how one man, one bank and one country experienced world economic history. Armann Thorvaldsson , a former CEO at Iceland’s Kaupthing Bank in the UK, tells the story of how he witnessed the bank grow from a small brokerage house to a £6 billion international bank. As the bank expanded, Thorvaldsson represented the money behind such household names as Iceland, easyJet, and Karen Millen. He travelled from Reykjavik to London, to Monte Carlo, and partied on yachts with celebrities. And then it all came crashing to a halt. As the financial crisis engulfed the world, even the most frantic efforts to save the bank were fruitless. Iceland was slammed with anti–terrorist laws in a major diplomatic incident, and the country’s economy was in tatters.  Frozen Assets is a powerful story about big ambitions, big money and hubris.

From the Back Cover

Iceland truly lived the boom and bust. Once a tiny country on the edge of Europe, in less than two decades it became a global financial powerhouse. This is the story of how one man, one bank and one country experienced and affected the course of world economic history. Armann Thorvaldsson , a former CEO at Kaupthing in the UK, tells the story of how his company was transformed into a £6 billion international bank, by far the largest in his country’s history.  Helping to build the biggest names in Icelandic business, Thorvaldsson represented the money behind such household names as easyJet, Matalan, Iceland and Karen Millen. As the boom got bigger, the Icelandic bankers worked and played hard with their international clients, including Gordon Ramsay, the Candy brothers, Mike Ashley and Robert Tchenguiz. Moving from Reykjavik to London, Monte Carlo and St Tropez, they seemed unstoppable. Yet, when the bust came, even the most frantic attempts to save the bank were fruitless, leading to the total collapse of the Icelandic economy. Thorvaldsson’s reflections on exactly what happened and why, make compelling reading.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly gripping 5 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is a well-paced book - because you know that Iceland's bubble is going to burst, the tension keeps building throughout. The last few chapters really convey the drama of things falling apart, but you also end up with a real insight into why all this happened. An entertaining (and cautionary) tale!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun, quick and informative read 24 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
Armann comes across as smart and honest. The author, thankfully keeps the reader's perspective in mind throughout. The details are seldom boring and he manages a fun mix of drama, reflection and storytelling. The writing style is very on-point but could do with a bit of variation.

Highly recommended!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nicely written and a real eye opener 5 Nov 2009
Format:Hardcover
This book delivers on its promise of giving readers a genuine insight into the collapse of Kaupthing and the whole Icelandic economy. I heard an interview with the author (former CEO of Iceland's largest bank)on BBC radio and needed a better understanding of exactly what happened in Iceland. The book is very easy to read, although some of the types of trading discussed by the author went over my head. You don't need to understand these to enjoy the book, though.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Poor 31 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover
An awful book. If you know anything about finance you would know that the Icelandic banks were complete amateurs with no sense of what they were doing. They were known to be the easiest bank on the street to milk (just at the Tchenguiz brothers did). They were clearly boys playing in a man's game with the idea that they were the new Kings of Finance. The author has written it as he won't be employed by anyone else in future. A waste of time with no substance or anything of interest at all.
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