Were the Greeks Playing Craps When They Manipulated Currencies

Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, March 2, 2010:


“Swapping Blame Over Athens”

“Ben Bernacke ..told the Senate that the U.S. central bank is investigating Goldman Sachs over CDS (Credit Default Swaps) involving Greece and other foreign countries… Under the 2001 deal brokered by Goldman, Greece swapped (traded) dollar-and yen-demoninated debt for eros at below-market exchange rates.

This is not to say that Greece’s number fudging was a good idea.  But before we round up the Goldman croupiers who arranged this particular deal, we’d do well to remember that the Greeks were’t the only Europeans playing craps at the currency-swap table in the euro’s early years. ”

Craps is a gambling game played with dice, the outcome of which is determined by the roll of one or two dice.  The probability of the dice combinations determines the playout odds, win or lose.  The odds are l 1:1 to 35:1 in favor of the gambling house.

Croupiers are gambling house employees who organize the craps game and play for the gambling house.  “The Wall Street Journal” is using gambling metaphors/idioms to emphasize the risks Greece took in manipulating currencies to become part of the European Union and its euro.  Goldman Sachs is a global investment banking and securities firm that Greece used and that the “Journal” termed the croupiers.


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