Officials in Iceland have been actively seeking to establish the country as a major hub for data centers, citing its abundant supply of cheap geothermal power. Economic development staff have attended several recent industry events to educate data center end users about Iceland's advantages. Microsoft and Cisco are reported to have visited Iceland to size up its potential to support a major data center.
But Iceland now appears to be effectively insolvent, with its major banks closed and customers unable to access their accounts. As the country's currency plunges in value, the crisis is spreading beyond its shores. Iceland's biggest banks have racked up foreign debts equivalent to as much as 12 times the size of the economy.
The British government has been forced to guarantee all customer deposits by UK citizens at the Icelandic online bank Icesave. "The Icelandic government, believe it or not, have told me yesterday they have no intention of honoring their obligations here,"' Darling told the BBC. The UK government may take further action to protect at least 20 British municipalities with tens of millions of pounds on deposit in the failed Icelandic banks. The government of Iceland is reportedly seeking a loan from Russia.