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Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis (Bloomberg (UK))

Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis (Bloomberg (UK)) [Kindle Edition]

Matthew Lynn
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Product Description


“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.’ —, 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. ‘…fast–paced, entertaining and perceptive.’ (, January 2011).

‘[ an] uncompromising read… combines a blow–by–blow account of the Greek bailout with an analysis of why the euro is unsustainable…’ (, January 2011). ‘…a very readable and concise book’. (Financial Times, January 2011). ‘...cogent analysis of the Eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis delivered with a keen polemical edge, very accessible for the general reader.’ (Spears Wealth, July 2011). ‘...successfully blends financial history, politics, and current affairs...sets out a well–reasoned argument.’  (The Market, July 2011).

Product Description

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 518 KB
  • Print Length: 293 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 047097611X
  • Publisher: Bloomberg Press; 1 edition (21 Dec 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HD69NS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #387,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Matt Lynn was born in 1962 and and grew up in Exeter and Dublin, before moving to London. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. After a career as a financial journalist and ghost-writer, which included three number-one best-sellers, he started writing the 'Death Force' series of action-adventure thrillers in 2009. Featuring a group of mercenaries, the series started with 'Death Force' in 2009, followed by 'Fire Force' in 2010, and continuing with 'Shadow Force' in 2011. The News of the World gave the first book a four-star rating, describing it as "a Boy's-Own adventure guaranteed to get the pulse racing. It is up there with the finest that Andy McNab or Chris Ryan have ever penned." Matt Lynn also writes widely on business and economics, including columns to Bloomberg, Money Week and the Spectator. 'Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis' was published in 2010, and short-listed for the Spear's Book Awards Business Book of the Year.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a Lot about Greece, quite a lot of opinions 28 April 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Despite the cover and the title, there's really not a lot about Greece here. Mr Lynn appears entirely happy to settle for the "fable" view of the crisis being just desserts for an idle, sponging country - a borderline-racist portrait of Greek untermensch unable to compete with their German superiors. You'll look in vain here for any analysis of why Greek society took such a sclerotic turn, or even why the country enjoyed so much less benefit from EU membership than Ireland or Spain. I'm reasonably sure that Mr Lynn didn't visit Greece as part of his research - I couldn't find any original material or analysis, just tired - if telling - anecdotes like the "untaxed swimming pools" that has been repeated to death since it first appeared in the New York Times three years ago.

The tone of the book warms up a little more than half-way through, when it turns into an impassioned screed against the euro and the folly of locking such diverse economies into a single currency. I agree with Mr Lynn on this stuff, but even I found the recital tiring. Mr Lynn is uncritical of German policy, and appears not to have noticed the damage done by German capital surpluses far beyond the european periphery. Tellingly, bottomless pits like Depfa or IKB (Goldman Sachs' favourite subprime stooges) go unmentioned even as Greeks, Irish and Spaniards are castigated.

This book is an editorial against the euro, topped off with thin and half-hearted factual passages about Greece and the rest of the periphery. The arguments against the euro are exactly those that could (and were) mounted pre-crisis, but the role that bad lending (as opposed to bad borrowing) played is glossed over.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A long newspaper article- out of date already! 23 April 2011
By Ioannis Glinavos VINE VOICE
I had trouble scoring this. First of all it was turned out in a rush. It has too many spelling and editing mistakes, and this is annoying. On the content, I do not really see the point of coming out with a title that is so current that it has the shelf life of scallops. It is already historical as events have overtaken the analysis. The book claims no greater theoretical insights on the processes it describes. It is great fun to read (I know this sounds strange) and informative, but it is too grounded on events that will be of limited significance in a few months time. Further, I do have to say using a national flag in derogatory manner as a front cover is questionable if not outright inappropriate. The Greek government is keen to litigate against anyone who in any way writes anything they dislike, so the publisher ought to rethink the choice of cover image. If you have not already ordered the book, do not bother. If the author would like to make this lasting, he should come out with a paperback edition that expands on the meaning all this has in a way that uses Greece as a case study that illustrates wider trends. He does not achieve this as it stands. If this were a PhD thesis, I would fail it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Informative but too Preachy. 1 April 2011
A good combination of modern history, economics and politics has resulted in a book that provides a fantastic picture of the events that have taken place in the EU over the last few years.

However, The author lets his own opinions come through to the reader too much and at points his conclusions seem unbalanced. Towards the end of the book we are put through an over opinionated spiel about how the Euro will ultimately be removed as the common currency of the union.

I would also put the argument forward that this book is too short for a book of it's type. Perhaps there is limits to the amount of information available to write a book of this sort, however if the author had put more effort into balancing this book it could have perhaps been longer.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very subjective 8 Feb 2014
By Georgia
Do not buy, there are much better books about the Greek Crisis out there! Mr Matthew Lynn I'm afraid that either your views are very subjective or you're just clueless!
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
"Bust..." is one of the best books I've ever read.

For someone who has followed the European Sovereign Debt Crisis closely over the past few years, I was fascinated by Matthew Lynn's forensic and meticulously detailed exposé of the political and economic car crash that has been the EU and the Euro.

This book is a highly entertaining, detailed and informative account of political bravado, bloody-mindedness, ineptitude and massive government-level fraud. (For example Greece artificially lowered their budget deficit in order to gain accession into the Euro and had a tax system whereby only 354 people out of nearly 17,000 with swimming pools in their garden, actually declared them to the tax authorities!)

Lynn describes in a very candid and at times laugh-out-loud way, how Greece is essentially the Sovereign version of "Lehman Brothers", except due to its interconnectedness with the rest of the world, it would be too dangerous both for the country itself and the rest of modern society to "let it fail".

Reading this brilliant story, you will learn about everything from political decision making, to budgetary economics, Credit Default Swaps, international bond markets and much much more.

Overall a gripping read and I would highly recommend it to anyone who has even the vaguest interest in this ongoing saga. 10/10
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A well argued Eurosceptic case on the Euro
This book, Bust, explains what went wrong. The author Matthew Lynn does a good job giving substantive reasons where the Euro has gone wrong. Read more
Published 24 months ago by A. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely analysis of what went wrong with Greece, the euro and the EU
For a relatively small country, Greece has made outsized contributions to the world: mythic legends and heroes, great art and architecture, illuminating philosophers and thinkers,... Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by Rolf Dobelli
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful study of a busted currency
This is the most useful book on the euro's disastrous effects. The way that governments dealt with the credit crunch (printing money and lending at 1 per cent) paved the way to the... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2011 by William Podmore
4.0 out of 5 stars Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis.
Bust: Greece, the Euro, and the Sovereign Debt Crisis. By Matthew Lynn. Published by Bloomberg Press. 282 pages. Hardback. RRP £18. Read more
Published on 2 Jun 2011 by Gordon Ross
3.0 out of 5 stars viva l'Euro !
The book is easily readable even if the subject could be obstic and "not for everybody".
Personally I enjoyed the book even if I found it biased by a strong anti-Euro feeling... Read more
Published on 27 May 2011 by Ennio Piantato
4.0 out of 5 stars A Timely Book
This is a very useful book for the reader who has no specialist knowledge of the euro and all things economic. Read more
Published on 3 April 2011 by J. Michna
5.0 out of 5 stars TonyH
If you want to understand the EU and the Euro crisis, this is the book to read.

It is a well written, structured analysis of what has gone wrong and the problems just... Read more
Published on 13 Jan 2011 by Tony
5.0 out of 5 stars A First-Rate Guide To The Euro Crisis
This is a really first-rate introduction to a very complex subject. The Greek economy is probably, well, Greek to most of us. Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2011 by Dan Mollett
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Popular Highlights

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Between 1999 and 2001, something very mysterious—and indeed convenient—happened. The Greek economy completely transformed itself. Just like that. &quote;
Highlighted by 23 Kindle users
Greece was starting to find a pattern. A new government comes in, it embarks on an extravagant spending program, then the economy crashes, and there is an austerity budget and an EU bailout. &quote;
Highlighted by 22 Kindle users
“From 1800 to well after World War II, Greece found itself virtually in continual default,” &quote;
Highlighted by 18 Kindle users

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