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Quick Hits: You Wanna Buy an Iceland?


Brief scrutiny of today's headlines.

One possible sign of a market bottom: Iceland is for sale.

The upside: It's a great getaway with knockout scenery – and it's a steal, given current financial conditions.

The downside: You've got to pick it up in person.

A tongue-in-cheek notice on eBay (EBAY) offers the country for sale, as Iceland itself jangles the tin cup in search of a 4 billion euro loan to bail out its failed banks.

The notice reads, "Located in the mid-Atlantic ridge of the North Atlantic Ocean, Iceland will provide the winning bidder with a habitable environment, Icelandic horses and admittedly a somewhat sketchy financial situation."

Bidders quipped, "Is it possible my payment will be frozen?" and "Will you accept C.O.D?"

Iceland's benchmark stock index fell 77% when trading resumed after a 3-day suspension and the country's largest banks were nationalized.

Three major banks collapsed with debts equal to about 12 times Iceland's total economy.

Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrun Gisladottir says the country should seek aid from the International Monetary Fund and later apply for membership in the European Union.

Or lacking that, there's always eBay.

Anyone trying to work an arbitrage deal should know that singer Bjork isn't included in the sale.
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