Greece is once again face to face with its destiny...
As the world watches, after weeks if not months of political turmoil and roller coaster emotions as we go from one bailout talk to the other, from IMF to EU to Eurogroup and even G20 meetings, we watch in dismay as Greece's future is gambled on.
In the last few days, weeks, months, two years, we have watched our political leaders squabble unable or unwilling to come to an agreement, on anything almost...let alone what they need to do today, forming a government of National Unity.
As they continue to play stupid and childish games at the expense of the country, we thought we would make our own nomination for the post of interim Prime Minister.
If Greece is going to have a banker for Prime Minister then our nomination goes to the ultimate Greek banker, Mr Minos Zombanakis, a man who was known simply as The Greek Banker.
With the international connections and impeccable background which are essential qualifications for the job of leading Greece through this period of economic crisis, Minos Zombanakis could well be the ideal person to fill this extremely important position at such a critical point in time.
Minos Zombanakis, whose friends' list read like a Who's Who of the international and financial elite, is one of the world's savvy wheelers and dealers. A respected and popular figure both at home and abroad, his advice was always sought out at every opportunity. This was particularly obvious during the Athens Stock Exchange boom in August of 1999, when you would often see him at the beach or at the local taverna in animated discussion with ordinary locals but also with people such as Yale educated Stavros Thomadakis, then Chairman of the Capital Market Commission of Greece and fellow native of Chania's Apokorona district.
Equally at home in Crete as he is in London, Mr Zombanakis has often hosted some of the world's most famous citizens at his home in his native Kalyves, a town he has supported at all levels and of which he has been made an honorary citizen. It is not by chance that the Kalyves City Centre is named Minos Zombanakis in his honour.
Following vice President Al Gore's unsuccessful bid for the Presidency of the USA he spent much needed down time at Mr Zombanakis' home town, incognito, sporting a beard and a Mexican hat...
In 2010, the Belfer Center launched a new professorship named for Zombanakis, chairman of the Chase Manhattan Bank's International Advisory Council for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, a Harvard Kennedy School alum and member of the Belfer Center International Council. Harvard Kennedy School celebrated the professorship with Zombanakis and his family in April that year.
In fact, in April this year, former Vice President of the European Central Bank, esteemed economist Lucas Papademos was appointed the inaugural Minos A. Zombanakis Professor of the International Financial System at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
It was because Papademos' name has been bandied around as possible interim Prime Minister of Greece in the last few days that we decided to nominate another, much more influential Global Greek for the position.
At 85 today, you might say Minos Zombanakis age might be against him, but let's not forget we have a precedent: Economist and banker Xenofon Zolotas who headed the Ecumenical Government formed in 1989 at the age of 85...
Readers might be interested to read Mr Zombanakis' views on how we got to today's economic crisis. In an address to the Hellenic Bankers' Association in 2008, entitled The Financial Crisis: How did we get here?, Mr Zombanakis had this to say:
It is worth glancing back to see how these forces originated, and how they interacted to create the toxic mix we have today, because there may be lessons.
I would single out three: financial innovation, deregulation of the finance industry, and monetary policy. I mention them in that order because that is the order in which they occurred.
These markets evolved in essentially two forms: securities and loans. The eurobond market was the first to emerge, in the early 1960s, as a means for international companies to tap new sources of capital at a time when national barriers were coming down. But though they were very inventive, these markets were rapidly overtaken in size by the syndicated loan market which emerged a few years later, in the late 1960s/early 70s. That, I am proud to say,was my contribution.
Καλή μας δύναμη!
Strength and courage for the hard road ahead!