Thorhallsson talks to tourists during a city walk around Reykjavik last week.
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The Lehman Brothers bankruptcy threw the United States into an epoch-defining financial storm.That, in relative terms, is what Iceland endured a decade ago during its banking crisis, which on this rugged island steeped in myths of gods and giants is now known as "hrunid" the collapse.The top financial entrepreneurs of a generation have been thrown behind bars and the economy has had to be reinvented more profoundly than most countries affected by the crisis.Over the span of one week, 90 percent of the financial sector defaulted.The collapse of Iceland's three major commercial banks, which had grown 20-fold over the previous seven years through debt-fueled acquisitions abroad, amounted to the third-largest bankruptcy in modern financial history, according to the Icelandic financial regulator.For the United States, an economy 1,100 times bigger, it would be like if 300 Lehman Brothers defaulted simultaneously, it noted.As big as the shock of the financial crisis was, so was the country's determination to put things right.Reforms of the financial sector have focused on making it less risky.
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