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Showing posts from June, 2015

What does Grexit mean?

Newly fashionable term used to describe the (impending? inevitable?) departure of Greece from the Eurozone.  Greece would then be forced to introduce a new national currency, most like some variant on the former drachma.  

Theoretically this should not be a world-shaking event as Greece only represents around 2% of EU economic activity. International financial institutions  also have contingency plans to contain the fall-out from a Greek default. Some even argue that Grexit would be good for the Greek economy in the long term.

So what's the big deal?
The problem is that we can't predict with certainty the impact of Grexit on international financial stability. The danger is that it could lead to the kind of chaos that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 . On the other hand, writing off Greek debt might tempt much larger economies (Spain, for example) to ask for the same treatment.   

This saga seems to have run forever but must have some sort of resolution at some poin…

What is Ulysses about? Is it worth reading?

Ulysses (1922) is long novel in which, on the surface, very little happens. Over a single summer's day (June 16, 1904) we share the lives of three Dubliners: Stephen Dedalus  (a recently bereaved young graduate), Leopold Bloom (a middle-aged sales representative of Jewish origin) and Molly Bloom (unfaithful wife of Leopold and occasional singer). 

All the action takes place in and around Dublin.

How does it start?
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. A yellow dressinggown, ungirdled, was sustained gently behind him on the mild morning air. He held the bowl aloft and intoned:- Introibo ad altare Dei.Listen a  short reading from the BBC Radio 4 version hereListen It is early in the morning. Twenty-two year-old Stephen Dedalus awakes in the Martello Tower, where he is temporarily living with a medical student, Buck Mulligan. An Englishman, Haynes, is also staying with Mulligan. 

Like Homer's Telema…