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McDonald’s Withdraws from Iceland

The three McDonald’s outlets operating in Iceland are going to close shop, victims of the collapse in the value of Iceland’s currency.

When I was in Nizhny Novgorod in 1998 when Russia defaulted on its debt, I remember a McDonald’s guy explaining to me that the company tried, when feasible, to make sure that expenses and purchases were happening in the same country. So you buy Russian potatoes with rubles and sell french fries in Russian cities for rubles. Icelandic agriculture isn’t going to be able to work as a McDonald’s supplier (great butter, though) so presumably they were importing tons of stuff and thus exposed to a great deal of currency risk. Perhaps if Iceland joins the EU and adopts the Euro, they’ll get their McDonald’s back.

Meanwhile, I wonder about other fast food outlets. The American fast food chain I went to in Iceland was Subway. Are they still there?

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