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Iceland’s Secret

The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Con

By Jared Bibler

Hardback £22.99 / $29.95
eBook £14.99 / $18.95
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Iceland’s Secret

The Untold Story of the World's Biggest Con

By Jared Bibler

Jacket text

Born in Massachusetts, Jared Bibler relocated to Iceland in 2004 only to find himself in the middle of an unprecedented financial crisis a handful of years later.

Personally wiped out and seeking to uncover the truth about a collapse that brought the pastoral country to its knees, he became the lead investigator into some of the largest financial crimes in the world. This work helped Iceland to famously become the only country to jail its bank CEOs in the wake of the 2008 crisis.

But the real story behind that headline is far more complex — and sinister.

A decade after the investigations, the story can be told at last and in full. The crisis, barely understood inside or outside of Iceland even today, is a cautionary tale for the world: an inside look at the high crimes that inevitably follow Wild West capitalism.

With the next global financial meltdown just around the corner, this untold tale is as timely as ever.

Read an exclusive Q&A with the author Jared Bibler

About the author

Jared Bibler is a graduate of MIT, where he studied engineering. He is also a CFA charterholder with nearly 20 years of broad experience in the global financial markets. Jared started his career in Boston and New York, where he worked as a consultant to a Wall Street giant.

Following that, he moved to Iceland where he supported the Icelandic pension funds’ foreign investments. Unhappy with this environment, he resigned from his job at a leading Icelandic bank days before the 2008 Icelandic financial crisis. He was subsequently hired to head a special investigation team at the Icelandic markets regulator. Jared and his team referred more than 30 criminal cases to the Special Prosecutor of Iceland, including the largest stock market manipulation cases to be prosecuted globally.

Reviews

“A unique perspective on events.”

Matthew Partridge, MoneyWeek

“Unlike most business books, it’s very accessible to the lay reader and even incorporates a sense of intrigue and action that makes it a top recommendation.”

Midwest Book Review

“Like The Big Short, but bigger.”

Business Matters

“To understand how the world really works, you need to understand Iceland’s Secret.”

The European

“Magnificent, horrifying”

Bill Myers, US journalist

“Perhaps the most important book I have read this year.”

Rory Sullivan, CEO Chronos Sustainability

“I found myself unable to put it down.”

James A. Fok, author of Financial Cold War

Axiom Award-winner – Silver Medal, International Business

Previous medalists include Nobel laureate Robert Shiller, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin, and philanthropist and investor Ray Dalio

“Few people are better-equipped to chronicle this extraordinary saga than Bibler. … His book is a blend of candid personal memoir and a Nordic noir that reveals his jaw-dropping discoveries as a regulator. … Iceland’s Secret is a fantastic read. An eye-opener and a cautionary tale, it is evidence of the brazen and protracted frauds that can occur if bankers are given a free pass by a country’s journalists, regulators, politicians and government.”

Ian Fraser, Financial Times

“[Iceland’s Secret] goes beyond a mere portrayal of a specific crime and its far-reaching ramifications and becomes a moral tale about the depths of human greed … an admirably rigorous account of a complex event of great contemporary importance.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A new genre is born: Nordic noir but with bankers going to jail. It reads like a thriller–but amazingly it’s all true.”

Russell Napier, bestselling author of Anatomy of the Bear

“A killer read from the heart of Iceland’s epic financial meltdown. A thrilling saga of crooked bankers and the dogged investigators who took them down.”

Tom Ashbrook, U.S. broadcasting legend

Media coverage

From Perlego:

he book is built around my personal story; I worked in one of those banks and saw some bad things. I couldn’t sleep at night, but I had no idea how much bigger it was. I quit my job on 3 October 2008, then all 3 banks collapsed the following week. I was hired 6… Read more »

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From Axiom Business Book Awards:

Iceland’s Secret is the winner of silver medal in International Business / Globalization category) at the Axiom 2022 Business Book Awards.

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From Library of Mistakes:

In this first episode of the Library of Mistakes podcast series, Russell Napier explores the 2008 financial collapse of Iceland with Jared Bibler, author of Iceland’s Secret – The Untold Story Of The World’s Biggest Con. After moving from the US financial world to Iceland in search of a quieter life, Jared found himself working… Read more »

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From Financial Times:

Now, in his recent book, Iceland’s Secret: The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Con, he says the country’s approach has neither cleaned out the Augean stables of Icelandic finance nor slain “the dragon of deeply corrupt financial markets”.

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From The Bookwatch:

Unlike most business books, it’s very accessible to the lay reader and even incorporates a sense of intrigue and action that makes it a top recommendation for general-interest collections, as well.

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From The Kuderna Podcast:

Jared Bibler is the author of the new book, ICELAND’s SECRET: The Untold Story of The World’s Biggest Con. Bibler is a graduate of MIT, who began his career as a software engineer. He eventually made his way to Wall Street as a consultant before moving to Iceland to support the Icelandic pension funds’ foreign… Read more »

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From Yahoo Finance:

As recounted in thrilling detail in the new book “Iceland’s Secret,” the Icelandic banking scandal was a beast all its own, a whole-cloth fraud that originated a full decade before the financial crisis. When the tide went out, though, it revealed an entire country had been swimming naked. The book’s author, Jared Bibler, had a… Read more »

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From The London Economic:

The Icelandic financial crisis of 2008 may, at first glance, seem just to be a footnote in the wider context of the 2007-9 global financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. As revelatory new book Iceland’s Secret: The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Con proves, this is… Read more »

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From Business Matters:

In this exclusive interview, Bibler, whose new book Iceland’s Secret: The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Con provides a cautionary tale for the world, speaks out about his investigation and why the Icelandic scandal still matters to us all.

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From The European:

Only through such reforms can we be more assured that the global financial system is fit for purpose. While those changes that have taken place are to be welcomed, continuing scandals in financial markets—and particularly within banks—demonstrate that it is still far too early to rest on our laurels. Iceland’s Secret: The Untold Story of… Read more »

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From HR Grapevine:

In this article, Bibler, author of new book Iceland’s Secret: The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Con—a revelatory forensic examination of one of the world’s largest financial crimes—offers guidance on how professionals should act if they uncover white-collar offences in their company.

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From BBC Radio Guernsey:

From 2:17:46 to 2:26:17, Claire Cathcart discusses financial crime with Jared Bibler, author of Iceland’s Secret.

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From Cointelegraph Magazine:

Bibler, who later joined the Fjarmalaeftirlitid (FME) investigation into the collapse, had quit his stressful Wall Street job in 2004 and moved to the tiny country after vacationing there. He ended up working at one of the largest banks, Landsbanki, and in a stroke of bizarre timing, quit his job just days before all three… Read more »

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From Authority Magazine:

I wrote Iceland’s Secret because I wanted readers to see by example what could happen if we continue to let our financial systems run amok — that we all have an interest in a clean, transparent, and truly stable financial system. And I want to inspire, also: to show how we also have the power… Read more »

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The book goes beyond a mere portrayal of a specific crime and its far-reaching ramifications and becomes a moral tale about the depths of human greed. It shows how, even in a nation as thoroughly egalitarian as Iceland, crimes of avarice are possible—especially when regulatory agencies are less than vigilant.

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Published: 05/10/2021
Edition: 1st
Pages: 272
Formats: hardback - ISBN 9780857198990
ebook - ISBN 9780857199003
audio - ISBN 0000000000055
Media enquiries

If you’d like to get in touch with the author for interview or comment, or you’d like a review copy of this book, please contact us at pr@harriman-house.com or call +44 (0)1730 233870.

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