Why you wouldn’t want to become an Icelandic fisherman

In April 2009, the author Michael Lewis published “Wall Street on the Tundra”, the first of his essays about the idiosyncratic ways certain European countries contributed to the global financial crisis.


The essay is about Iceland, and it touches on Iceland’s rich fisheries and on the silly paradox that once you’ve gotten rich on fishing and the opportunity to do a spot of investment banking comes along, you don’t really think twice.


As for why, you can sort of imagine the working environment of an investment banker, even if you’ve never worked as one. It’s much harder to imagine the working environment of an Icelandic fisherman. The video above offers some guidance.

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Ash78, just done until Kinja is fixed for good

Why is this surprising? These people eat rotten shark heads and drive on glaciers for fun. They have the oldest still-working democracy on earth, while the people who invented democracy are on the verge of collapse. The sun doesn't go down for 3 months, then a few months later it barely comes up for 3 months. They cut all the trees down a thousand years ago because they needed warmth and shelter. Then all the trees were gone, so they grew a pair and learned to cope (yes, even the women). Per capita, they have more strongmen than any other country on earth. Yet they still own the most books and travel the most, per capita, of any people on earth. I'd say that's pretty hardcore and respectable.

They're also very, very inbred. Land of contrasts.