Now, of course, most headlines we see about Iceland seem positive. Iceland is repaying its IMF loans early, unemployment is down, and growth is above average. The streets of Reykjavik seem calm and happy.
Other countries, of course, haven't been so lucky. The crisis remains front page news in Greece, Italy and Spain — countries that followed a very different response from Iceland's.
Ólafur argues that his country's strength came from recognizing the problem was not just an "economic and financial challenge", but a "profound social, political, and even judicial" challenge.
After the crisis, the country held a full judicial investigation, and went against "the prevailing economic orthodoxies of the American, European and IMF model." Ólafur says that he likes to think that the IMF learned more from Iceland during this time than vice versa.