It seems a commonplace notion that when we talk about trust, we are really talking about the lack of trust. After all, if there were solid trust throughout society, we would not have to talk about it at all. But if we discuss lack of trust, are we to start with institutions or the individuals in the institutions? It would help us if we knew whether we need to fix wayward institutions or educate individuals for more ethical behaviour. Moving from thoughts of the ideal to the practical, we have seen how Icelanders have felt the effect of institutions and individuals gone astray in a two-fold manner: first, through the actions of those parties; second, as they listened to the painful but necessary story of those days in its repeated telling by the Special Investigative Commission. Hope remains, however, because, as natural disasters show us, when stripped of its trappings, human character can still revive our sense of trust.