Jul 21 2011

Treasure Islands: a view from Greece

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

In an email from someone in Greece, who describes himself as an ‘ex-auditor and banker,’ (but he doesn’t want to be quoted by name) who has been reading Treasure Islands:

“I felt that simply by replacing “developing countries” with “Greece” in some parts, we get the story of the looting that has apparently taken place here. Especially the part that says

One trick is to make sure that influential locals are secretly part of the investor group buying the discounted debt: these locals will then do battle inside the developing country governments to make sure the debts get paid in full.

My hair stood on end… the research you have made about the whole thing fits PERFECTLY in the Greek case. While reading the book to my assistant, I kept stressing those specific parts, and she kept nodding and … moaning wearily (!) as a response.

I wish you knew Greek to read the “Pitsirikos” blog – they guy is so productive that it would be impossible to make translations of his blogposts for you. However, he includes a text in English, which, I think is very telling. Yes, he is definitely exaggerating, but, as I say “exaggeration is the midwife of understanding”. Give it a look, if you have the time.

(That part about discounted debt, incidentally, comes on page 162 of the UK edition.) And yes, that Pitsirikos blog, entitled Don’t visit Greece! Liberate us! does look interesting. Strong stuff. And for more on Greece – well, there’s tons of stuff, of course. I also like this site.

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