Michael Lewis in Greece

Michael Lewis, the famous author of “Liar’s Poker”, went to Greece to find the back story of why the finances of the country are in such a disastrous state. Read the whole article for the full story but one of the notable passages was:

As he finishes his story the finance minister stresses that this isn’t a simple matter of the government lying about its expenditures. “This wasn’t all due to misreporting,” he says. “In 2009, tax collection disintegrated, because it was an election year.”

“What?”

He smiles.

“The first thing a government does in an election year is to pull the tax collectors off the streets.”

“You’re kidding.”

Now he’s laughing at me. I’m clearly naïve.

Read More http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2010/10/greeks-bearing-bonds-201010?printable=true#ixzz0zVfaOZRc