Lessons From the Greeks

| January 02, 2024

The example of Greece gives me new hope for America in 2024. Throughout my life Greece has been plagued by tragedy, poor governance, poverty, military coups, bailouts, and dictatorship. The World Factbook points out that “from 2009 until 2019, Greece suffered a severe economic crisis, due to nearly a decade of chronic overspending and structural rigidities.” *

Yet, The Economist just named Greece their country of the year. They note that “ten years ago it was crippled by a debt crisis and ridiculed on Wall Street. Incomes had plunged, the social contract was fraying and extremist parties of the left and right were rampant.” ** Sound familiar? Despite these daunting challenges, Greece has managed to elect a responsible government and enact reforms that have corrected a long history of mismanagement.

The Economist explains that “after years of painful restructuring, Greece topped our annual ranking of rich-world economies in 2023.” This is a hopeful sign since “Greece shows that from the verge of collapse it is possible to enact tough, sensible economic reforms, rebuild the social contract, exhibit restrained patriotism—and still win elections.”

Of course, I view this from the perspective of a financial planner. Clients succeed when they have a clear understanding of what is important. We cannot have a successful nation or a successful life outcome if we do not identify goals, rank them in order of importance, and develop the methods by which we will attain what we want. We then need to measure and make minor corrections as situations change.

We cannot do much to get our leaders and their partisans to think clearly about what is important. We can help clients escape from the new-year-resolution trap. That is because we are here to act as your coach, advisor, and champion. Resolutions fail because of a lack of support. For financial issues, that support is us.

The example of Greece demonstrates that even the most difficult obstacles can be overcome, which is why I am hopeful for a terrific new year.

From all of us at Treasure Coast Financial Planning, best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2024.


* https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/greece/

** "The Economist’s country of the year for 2023
It is possible to enact painful economic reforms and still get re-elected." The Economist, December 20,2023. https://www.economist.com/leaders/2023/12/20/the-economists-country-of-the-year-for-2023.