The wry laugh­ter of the blame­less

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY PAN­TELIS BOUKALAS

mak­ing head­lines th­ese past few days, as his sales gim­mick. It re­minded me of the days of the stock mar­ket bub­ble, when stocks and their prices were on ev­ery­one’s lips. “Come and get your stocks” was a catch­phrase that was all too fa­mil­iar back then, es­pe­cially to those who lost a pile of money. They have been brushed off as vic­tims of their own avarice, mean­ing ba­si­cally that no fault can be brought against the min­is­ters and busi­ness­men-cronies who lauded the stock ex­change as be­ing the safest place for our sav­ings. The sales pitch “Come and get it, folks! Its cheaper than at Postbank!” is not as sim­ple as it may seem at first be­cause it sum­ma­rizes mul­ti­ple mes­sages and feel­ings in just a few words. The peo­ple at the mar­ket had no trou­ble de­ci­pher­ing it, of course. They knew all about the scan­dal, about the half a bil­lion eu­ros of pub­lic money that went into pri­vate pock­ets be­cause our banks had not yet be­come – like the stock mar­ket – the safest place in the world to put your sav­ings. Cus­tomers walk­ing past the gro­cer’s stall laughed at his gim­mick – the wry kind of laugh we have for when we know we have been taken for a ride. A slightly an­gry laugh. They knew that there is some­thing not quite above-board about a sit­u­a­tion whereby sev­en­fig­ure loans with no strings at­tached were qui-

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