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Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis Hardcover – December 13, 2010
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“Lynn’s book is fast-paced, entertaining and perceptive about the causes of the crisis. He explains how Greece cheated its way into the eurozone in 2001 by supplying the European Union authorities with data that understated the Greek budget deficit by an average of 2.1 percentage points in every year from 1997."
‘…Lynn blends financial history, politics and current affairs to tell the story of government deceit, unfettered spending, and cheap borrowing.’
—Finance & Management Faculty, October 2010.
‘The more interesting the book, the less likely you are to put it down, and I just wanted to read from beginning to end.’
—Fool.co.uk, MoneyTalk, December 2010.
‘…thrilling account of the Greek financial crisis…lively, engaging, and thought provoking…Bust, reminds us just how interconnected the world really is.’
—Hereisthecity.com, December 2010.
‘…fast-paced, entertaining and perceptive.’ (FT.com, January 2011).
From the Inside Flap
Athens, Greece—May Day 2010. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU) were putting together the final details of a $100 billion euro rescue package for the country. The Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, had agreed to a savage package of "austerity measures" involving cuts in public spending and lower salaries and pensions. Outside, riot police were deployed as protestors gathered to fight the austerity program. A country with a history of revolution and dictatorship hovered on the brink of collapse—with the world's financial markets watching to see if the deal cobbled together would be enough to both calm the markets and rescue the Greek economy, and with it the euro, from oblivion.
In Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis, leading market commentator Matthew Lynn blends financial history, politics, and current affairs to tell the story of how one nation rode the wave of economic prosperity and brought a continent, a currency, and, potentially, the global financial system to its knees.
Bust is a story of government deceit, unfettered spending, and cheap borrowing: a tale of financial folly to rank alongside the greatest in history. It charts Greece's rise, and spectacular fall from grace, but it also explores the global repercussions of a financial disaster that has only just begun. It explains how the Greek debt crisis spread like wildfire through the rest of Europe, hitting Ireland, Portugal, Italy, and Spain, and ultimately provoking a crisis that brought the euro to the edge of collapse. And it argues that the Greek crisis is just the start of a decade of financial turmoil that will eventually force the break up of the euro, and a massive retrenchment in the living standards of all the developed economies.
Written in a lively and entertaining style, Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis is an engaging and informative account of a country gone wrong and a must-read for anyone interested in world events and global economics.
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There are other reviews of this book which find fault with the book, arguing that the book began with correct premises but concluded with wrong conclusions, all based on equally esoteric principles of monetary policy. This completely misses the point. The emphasis of this book is historical, political and financial. It is written with the purpose of making the development of this financial crisis understandable to the general reader. The financial crisis in Europe is, of course, a continuing new story. By reading this book anyone will receive a deeper understanding of how things got so bad financially. The author no doubt will be publishing a revised edition of this book.
There are other books about the Greek debt and sovereign crisis, and some of these books appear to have Greek authors. I would have concerns about the objectivity of these narratives, especially when one book has the word "Odious" in its title. Yes, the Greek debt is indeed odious, but the author identifies one element to the financial crisis being Greece's "profligacy" and institutional corruption, which is no doubt is true. However, the author is very even-handed in the way he emphasizes that the other element was the vain -- even crazy -- idea of unifying the entire European continent with one currency. The author does a very good job in distributing the blame to all guilty parties. Because he discusses the inanity of unifying a diverse continent which is so diverse such as Europe with one currency more than with dealing with the corruption or deceit of Greece, I can only conclude that he perhaps believes more blame should be assigned to Northern Europe.
This book should be read if not because it does a superb job of explaining the entire sordid mess in understandable terms. Sadly, this is a continuing story and a revised edition may be needed.
understand what is happening there today "Bust" is both immensely informative and immensely entertaining.
It will give you the background needed to be a spectator to the possible breakup of the EU.
Most recent customer reviews
I couldn't recommend this unless you are already indoctrinated into a clown.
However, no mention is made of the efforts made by New democracy government to cut Geeece's debt in early 90s, as if...Read more