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Greece's 'Odious' Debt

The Looting of the Hellenic Republic by the Euro, the Political Elite and the Investment Community

By Jason Manolopoulos

Greece's 'Odious' Debt

Critically examines the economic, historical and psychological dynamics that have combined to create an existential crisis for the European Union.

Imprint: Anthem Press
ISBN 9780857287717
May 2011 | 304 Pages | 216 x 140mm / 8.5 x 5.5 | 20+ figures and tables
PRICE:  £16.99  /  $29.95  Buy from Amazon.co.uk  Buy from Amazon.com

About This Book

‘The author, who is also a founder of an emerging-market hedge fund, sets out to analyze the Greek fiscal crisis and its larger reverberations. […] This is a brave, complicated and timely book.’ —Nancy F. Koehn, ‘The New York Times’

‘[An] excellent study both of the eurozone and of the Greek case by Jason Manolopoulos, Greece’s ‘Odious’ Debt (Anthem Press). He shows conclusively that the eurozone is far from an optimum currency area.’ —Samuel Brittan, ‘Financial Times’

‘Blunt, rigorous and shrewd, Manolopoulos resembles a wise uncle explaining how a ne’er-do-well cousin gambled away the family’s future: He spares his compatriots no embarrassment, yet recalls in memorable detail how fickle German friends and French moneylenders egged them on.’ —James Pressley, ‘Bloomberg’

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Jason Manolopoulos combines his experience of the global financial system, European politics and Greek society to demonstrate how one of the EU’s smaller countries played a catalytic role in a crisis that threatens the future of the euro, and possibly even of the European Union itself.

He explores the historical legacy and psychological biases that have shaped an ongoing drama. While leaders of the European Union criticise ‘the markets’ for destabilizing the single currency, Manolopoulos interrogates the shared beliefs of the EU and the investment banking community – and how they colluded for a decade in the illusion that lending huge sums to peripheral eurozone countries was safe.

Policy and investment errors bear marked similarities with earlier financial crises – in particular the Exchange Rate Mechanism system and the Argentine debt crisis. This inability to learn history’s recent lessons begs fundamental questions of policy making, which this book discusses.

Greek society also comes under scrutiny, as shocking details of a kleptocratic political class and a wasteful public sector are revealed. Manolopoulos traces these developments back to dictatorship and civil war, but argues that there is no excuse for their continuation in a modern democracy.

Readership: Undergraduate and graduate students of economics, finance and European studies, as well as the general reader interested in current events in finance and economics.

Author Information

Jason Manolopoulos is the co-founder of the emerging markets hedge fund Dromeus Capital, an alternative asset management firm focusing on macro and special situations investments in emerging markets.

Table of Contents

1. From Buenos Aires to Athens; 2. Getting Lucky; 3. The Euro: A Hard Sell, or a Mis-sell?; 4. Western Branding, Eastern Legacy: A Country on a Fault-line; 5. The Looting of Greece: Scandals, Corruption and a Monstrous Public Sector; 6. Getting Unlucky: It All Begins to Unravel; 7. The Euro in Practice; 8. Liquidity Boom; 9. The Entertainers; 10. A Temporary Bail-out? A Crisis Made Worse by Satisficing; 11. The Man in the Arena; Notes; Index; INDEX 2