I ran Iceland's central bank in 2009. Here's what I learned about crisis management

And you thought your turnaround was tricky.

by Svein Harald Oygard

Imagine that, as you walk down the street of your hometown, you are asked to call your home country's Ministry of Finance. They then ask you to become central bank governor of another country, a country in its deepest crisis. To leave your job, your home and your family to help save a country - Iceland - hit by the third largest bankruptcy in the history of mankind. What’s more, you know that the bank's entrance is presently guarded by riot police.

That was the situation in which I found myself in the depths of the global financial crisis in February 2009.

Many in the Icelandic central bank had been traumatised as the crash hit. Many were exhausted by stress and long hours. “Since October, the days had been absurd,” said one central bank executive. “Six hours of sleep, and then work, only work.”

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