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Friday, October 31, 2008

FAROE FRIDAY: FINANCIAL RESCUE EDITION

Despite what the hastily written title may imply, the Faroes are not in need of a financial rescue. In fact, just the opposite is true. The Faroe Islands are helping to bail out another country.

Not surprisingly, that country is Iceland. Iceland and the Faroe Islands were both settled by Vikings, they both have ties to Denmark, and they both have a tradition of fantastic sweaters.

This week, the new prime minister of the Faroe Islands offered Iceland a 344 Kroner (about $60 million US) loan. While $60 million may not seem like all that much money compared to the billions being thrown around in the US right now, it's important to understand that the Faroe Islands only have a population of 48,000. This loan amounts to 2% of the Faroe Island's GDP. Two percent of the US GDP would be about $230 billion.

According to my exclusive sources inside the Faroe Islands, this loan offer (the IMF is the only other organization to offer one) has set off a love fest between Iceland and the Faroes. Radio shows are clogged with callers from Iceland offering their thanks.

This week's Faroe Photo is of Sandavágur. If you look very closely, you can see the home of a very sharp Faroese man. That same person responded to my call for more photos of banks in the Faroe Islands.

The top photo was taken from a collection by Arne List. He's a German man who has taken some great pictures of the Faroes. More on him in a later Faroe Friday edition. This particular bank is very old, and in Torshavn. I believe it's another branch of the famed Eik Banki. It was sent my way by none other than Faroe Man. That's about all I know about it.

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