Tag Archives: Warren Buffett

Kyrkos, exit stage left

Illustration by Manos Symeonakos

“We don’t seem to have a political class that understands, on any level, what it’s like to face unemployment,” veteran left-wing film director Ken Loach told The Guardian newspaper in an interview last week.

Although his comment was a swipe at the British government in the wake of the recent riots in the UK, the description could easily apply to Greek politicians, or indeed many MPs and ministers throughout Europe. Today’s politicians rarely gravitate toward public service after having gained experience and respect working outside the political arena. Instead, it’s a career option and, like any other career, those involved pursue their goals from a young age. Their path to power rarely weaves its way through the troubled back streets of the economy where initiative, courage and compassion are needed.

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Rating the rating agencies

Illustration by Manos Symeonakis

“If we really want to rub their faces in it, then the only way is to increase revenues and for every Greek to pay the taxes they are supposed to. If that happens, then we won’t need Moody’s or anybody else.” In his own inimitable style, Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos’s blew open in Parliament on Friday an issue of public debate while displaying all the subtlety of a bulldozer trying to open a safe.

Although he was more forthright than others, the veteran PASOK politician was expressing an opinion that reflected the mood of many voters and MPs. His comments came just a few days after Moody’s, one of the three credit rating agencies that have been observing the Greek economy with the intensity a menacing stalker, downgraded Greece’s debt — already at junk status — by three notches, to B1 from Ba1 and suggested Athens would not be able to repay its debt without some form of restructuring. Moody’s also downgraded six Greek banks in the same week.

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