By John Ballard
This year's Top 100 Global Thinkers selected by the writers and editors of Foreign Policy is a good test of how well one has been keeping up with world events. I'm afraid there were too many names with which I am not familiar. In this case, I don't think scanning the list and reading thumbnail sketches is cheating but catching up. It was with no small measure of satisfaction that I saw the name of Alaa Al Aswany at the top of the list. And it was via Twitter that Nouriel Roubini modestly alerted his followers that he had made #30, which is how I was informed.
Johanna Sigurdardottir, #87, is new to me but apparently not to the people of Iceland who elected her Prime Miinister. When I saw the film Inside Job my prior ignorance of Iceland moved from complete to somewhat and is still not much better. But every time I see a reference to Iceland I remember the beautiful opening scenes featuring a picture-book image of that little country which was selected to illustrate what can happen when a true national banking system is privatized, especially without close regulatory oversight. Iceland's response to the global collapse of 2008 was swift and logical: they re-nationalized the banking system and took legal actions against the bastards responsible. I have sometimes wondered what would have happened if a few other countries had followed suit.