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Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis

ISBN: 978-0-470-97611-1
288 pages
December 2010
Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis (047097611X) cover image
In 2001, Greece saw its application for membership into the Eurozone accepted, and the country sat down to the greatest free lunch in economic history. However, the coming years of global economic prosperity would lead to unrestrained spending, cheap borrowing, and a failure to implement financial reform, leaving the country massively exposed to a financial crisis—which duly struck.

In Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis, Bloomberg columnist Matthew Lynn explores Greece's spectacular rise and fall from grace and the global repercussions of its financial disaster. Page by page, he provides a thrilling account of the Greek financial crisis, drawing out its origins, how it escalated, and its implications for a fragile global economy. Along the way, Lynn looks at how the Greek contagion has spread like wildfire throughout Europe and explores how government ineptitude as well as financial speculators compounded the problem.

Blending financial history, politics, and current affairs, Lynn skillfully tells 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. Lively, engaging, and thought provoking, Bust reminds us just how interconnected the world really is.

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Introduction: May Day in Athens.

Chapter 1 Now We Are Ten.

Chapter 2 How to Blag Your Way into a Single Currency.

Chapter 3 At Club Med the Party Never Ends.

Chapter 4 The Story of the Swabian Housewife.

Chapter 5 Fixing a Debt Crisis with Debt.

Chapter 6 Burying Your Head in the Greek Sand.

Chapter 7 The Debts Fall Due.

Chapter 8 The Trillion-Dollar Weekend.

Chapter 9 Contagion.

Chapter 10 The Debt-Deflation Death Spiral.

Chapter 11 How to Break Up a Single Currency.

Chapter 12 The Global Economy after the Single Currency.

Notes.

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Index.

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MATTHEW LYNN is an experienced financial writer and commentator. He is a business and economics commentator for Bloomberg Television, a columnist for Bloomberg News, as well as MoneyWeek in the UK, and a regular contributor to the Spectator magazine in London. Before that, Lynn worked for the Sunday Times in London for ten years as a business writer and columnist. As Matt Lynn, he is also the author of the Death Force series of military thrillers published by Hodder Headline.
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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."
—Financial Times

‘…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).

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January 10, 2011
BUST: Greece, The Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis

 

BUST

Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis

By Matthew Lynn

Columnist for Bloomberg News

 

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 (Bloomberg Press; January 2011; $27.95; Hardcover), 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.

MATTHEW LYNN is an experienced financial writer and commentator. He is a business and economics commentator for Bloomberg Television, a columnist for Bloomberg News, as well as MoneyWeek in the UK, and a regular contributor to the Spectator magazine in London. Before that, Lynn worked for the Sunday Times in London for ten years as a business writer and columnist. As Matt Lynn, he is also the author of the Death Force series of military thrillers published by Hodder Headline.

Bust

Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis

By Matthew Lynn

Bloomberg Press, January 2011, $27.95; Hardcover

ISBN: 9780470976111

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