Then, and Now

Legal jurisdictions are important. The Magna Carta is nearly a millennium old. It divided the Western world into those who are descendants under Roman law and those who are the descendants of English law. Greeks and other Europeans are in the Roman law camp, which empowers the state at the expense of the individual. English law attempts to protect the individual from the state. The tension between these two systems continues to the present day. Notice the different treatment of the majority of debt holders under Greek law vs. the minority of debt holders under non-Greek law. Investors who venture out of English law are invited to take note of the risk.

–David R. Kotok, Greece, Tragedy & Poetry, 10 March 2012.

Much has been written and said in the past four days. Start with three “musts.”

Listen to the Bill Gross interview of 8:30 Friday morning. (Hear it at Bloomberg Radio+ at the AppStore at iTunes.) Read the European press including Bloomberg News Europe Economics and Government. (Thank you James Hertling and John Fraher & Co. for endless ruined weekends.)

And read the above Kotok on two worlds apart.

If you ever enter the British Library, head straight ahead, then to the left into a darkened room, then still, to a more dark room. You will find a set of documents that describe the path to, and just from, the Magna Carta.

David is correct. There is a difference, a distinction. Then, and now. Discuss.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.