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Iceland Prosecutor Investigates, Convicts Bankers for Financial Crimes

“There were questions that had to be looked into”
Ólafur Hauksson
Ólafur HaukssonPhotograph by Spencer Murphy for Bloomberg Businessweek

Feb. 17, 2012: Iceland’s special prosecutor gets his first conviction

Ólafur Hauksson didn’t even apply for his job the first time it was offered. It was late 2008, and Iceland was in the early throes of financial meltdown. The island nation’s three largest banks had gone under, pulling in their wake an economy that had floated high on the back of a swollen financial sector. The króna was spiraling downward, kept from plummeting to the bottom only by emergency capital controls. Unemployment was surging. The population was riotous, pelting the parliament building in downtown Reykjavik with eggs, tomatoes, and yogurt.