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Fear and Greed: Investment risks and opportunities in a turbulent world by Nicolas Sarkis

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Chapter 5: Dread, Denial and Default

The sense of dread beforehand is often worse than the deed itself. That was certainly true in the case of Greece defaulting on its debts. The prospect of Greece failing to meet its obligations spooked financial markets repeatedly from 2010 onwards. However, once it was actually confirmed in March 2012 that the country would not repay its creditors in full, the markets barely reacted at all. Even so, while the ultimate response may have been gentle, this is not to say that sovereign debt defaults are in any way painless.

There was nothing novel about Greece’s default. Sovereign nations have done exactly the same on repeated occasions throughout history. Particularly in recent years, however, these defaults ...

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