Not so long ago, information was released in Iceland that confirmed that the banks in Iceland had overstated their worth by
ISK7.4 billion before the collapse. A comment was later made that went something like this: "At first, that sounds like a lot, but then again, a beer in Iceland is ISK1200.." and it got me thinking: Is a country's worth really measured by the cost of its beer? If a beer is expensive, then really, over-estimating a few banks value by a few billion ain't so bad. Right?
On a bit of a tangent from that, but somewhat related is the 'Burgernomics'. The idea that a McDonald's Big Mac should be the
same price in every country and comparing actual exchange rates with the price of a Big Mac indicates whether a currency is under- or overvalued. What about countries that don't have a McDonald's? Are those countries labelled as 'developing' because of the lack of a fast-food joint? I have travelled quite a bit, and gone on a school-trip too many. It it almost without fail, that when a big group of students goes abroad, seeing a McDonald's is the "light". Even if you don't ever go to one in your home country, seeing one abroad somehow makes everything 'familiar' again.
But back to the original question: If a country's worth is measured by the cost of a Big Mac in that country, does that mean a country is considered a 'developing' one on the basis of lacking a McDonald's? Back in the fall (no pun intended) of 2008, Iceland's banks collapsed and headlines across the world declared the country 'bankrupt'. Soon thereafter, the two McDonald restaurants that existed were shut down because importing McDonald's products became too expensive. I can't say that the loss of McDonald's has caused a flood of tears in Iceland, but if in only circa 18 months a small island in the North Atlantic has been declared bankrupt by the world media, put on sale on ebay and lost its ability to partake in 'Burgernomics' - does Iceland then qualify, on some absurd scale, as a developing nation?