Books always seem to be one step behind the latest crisis. With the European PIIGs still flailing about, and the rest of the continent searching for some sense of stabilization, Egypt erupts. By the time these pages have a book excerpt about Egypt, somewhere else  will be on fire.

For today, let’s focus on Europe. The book we are going to do that with is Matthew Lynn’s Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis.

Its in my (long) queue, but the reviews so far are encouraging. And its author, Bloomberg columnist Matthew Lynn, is no stranger to troubles in Europe: He worked for the Sunday Times in London for ten years as a business writer and columnist. Lynn was also a contributor to the Spectator magazine in UK.

Thumbing through the book, it traces how the Greek contagion spread  throughout Europe, and the combination of government ineptitude and excess financial speculation compounded the problem.

Early Reviews:

“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)

‘…fast-paced, entertaining and perceptive.’ (, January 2011).

‘The more interesting the book, the less likely you are to put it down, and I just wanted to read from beginning to end.’  —, 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.’  —, December 2010.

‘…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.

Chapter 1 is after the jump

Bust Matthew Lynn c01

Category: Books

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2 Responses to “Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis”

  1. Jack Damn says:

    European Financials Defy Sovereign Debt Crisis in January Rally (Bloomberg)

    European financial stocks are on course for their best January in more than a decade as investors bet policymakers will backstop the euro region’s indebted nations and preserve the currency union.

    The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600’s insurance index has climbed 9.4 percent this month, while the banks index advanced 8.3 percent, the most among the 19 industry groups and the biggest January gains for both since at least 1998. The rally compares with a 1.2 percent gain in the overall index.

    “There is a commitment to solve issues around sovereign debt,” said Patrick Lemmens, who helps manage about $13 billion at Robeco Group in Rotterdam and predicted in December that financial stocks may advance as much as 50 percent in the next 12 months. “Concerns have diminished.”

  2. CitizenWhy says:

    The price of oil shoots up. More severe winters become normal. How does that leave Europe?