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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Beware Of Greeks Bearing Bonds --- Or Perhaps Not?

In October 2010, Vanity Fair published Michael Lewis' classic piece titled "Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds." One of the major parts of the piece was the story about land exchange deals between the Athos monastery Vatopedi and the Greek government. Needless to say, the article - although not written in an accusing but, instead, entertaining way - was a condemnation of Greeks affairs in general and of the financial empire building of Vatopedi in particular.

There are always two sides to a story. By accident, I only now found out that shortly after Vanity Fair published Lewis' article, Father Matthew of Vatopedi was given the opportunity for a rebuke by Vanity Fair. And that rebuke is quite surprising. Still, Lewis was then given the chance to rebuke the rebuke and at the end of this exercise, it still boils down to a judgment of whom one believes. Still, I decided to publish the below links for the benefit of those who, like myself, may only have seen one side of the story.

Incidentally, for good order's sake it should be noted that, in 2017, all 14 defendants in the land exchange trial were acquitted.

Beware of Greeks Bearing Bonds
Rebuke by Father Matthew and Rebuke of the Rebuke by Michael Lewis

1 comment:

  1. thanks, I wasn't aware of Michael Lewis article. Entertaining to read. Exactly why one wonders occasionally. Reminds me vaguely of a Greek's dislike of the Orthodox church, which I never quite understood. Maybe that was the case on his mind.

    The equivalent of the two tax men he interviewed of course must exist everywhere. There clashing perspective that is. His indirect suggestion that Greece has such a high number of self-employed people since it allows them to avoid taxes is a bit strange. Does he lean towards one of the men?

    Have you read his books cited here, especially his Boomerang?
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vatopedi#Land_deal_controversy

    Question by a Financial Market Nitwit other then deep and increasing suspicion over the last decades:

    "Monks bearing bonds" and the reference to Bob Chapman is mysterious to me in the larger context. What do I miss to understand?

    https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/bond.asp

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