Submitted by Leo Kolivakis, publisher of Pension Pulse.
I hope every Canadian enjoyed their time off July 1st for Canada Day. I am off to the Land of Zorba tomorrow (the island of Crete) for the baptism of my three nephews.
I am looking forward to being with my family but I dread the hustle and bustle of airports. My MS always acts up this time of year with the heat and humidity but I am going to take it one step at a time and try to enjoy my time off.
I have been blogging for a little over a year. I managed to meet many interesting people, email others and of course, piss off some pension bullies, not that I really care about them.
People ask me why I blog and what I get out of it. For me, it’s cathartic and it allows me to structure my thoughts on a daily basis. I love learning about new things and trying to put all the macro pieces together.
Of course, it helps to have a strong network and to read what other commentators are saying. I continuously read what intelligent people have to say about the markets. Today I read the July comment from Niels Jensen of Absolute Return Partners, Make Sure You get This One Right.
Like Mr. Jensen, I also fear that a bout of deflation will force monetary authorities to take aggressive actions. I look forward to reading John Mauldin’s latest comment on Thoughts from the Frontline on this subject.
But markets will have to take a back seat to Henry Miller for now. You see when I travel to Greece, I dust off my copy of the Colossus of Maroussi and let his genius prose take me far away from the mundane world of finance. Henry Miller’s writings help me put things into perspective.
In Miller’s own words:
Marvelous things happen to one in Greece – marvelous good things which can happen to one nowhere else on earth. Somehow, almost as if He were nodding, Greece still remains under the protection of the Creator. Men may go about their puny, ineffectual bedevilment, even in Greece, but God’s magic is still at work, no matter what race of man may do or try to do, Greece is still a sacred precinct – and my belief is that it will remain so until the end of time.
I love that passage and for me, Greece holds a mystical quality that is hard to describe until you are there and are overwhelmed by the raw beauty and history of the land.
My other favorite book is Nikos Kazantzakis’ Zorba The Greek. Anthony Quinn was superb in the movie and who can forget this scene when Alexis Zorbas teaches his boss to dance.
I won’t be dancing but I hope to swim and lose my senses in the beautiful oceans of Crete. I reserve the right to blog, but I will ask you to keep reading Yves Smith’s Naked Capitalism, Luc Vallée’s The Sceptical Market Observer, Jack Dean’s Pension Tsunami, Bill Tufts’ Fair Pensions for All, The Financial Ninja and a host of other blogs on my blog roll.
Also, keep an eye on PSP Investments. I am still waiting for them to post their FY 2009 results. Last year they quietly posted their FY 2008 results some time in July so keep checking this link from time to time.
I leave you with some breathtaking scenery on YouTube from Hania, Crete. Enjoy your holidays and I wish you all a safe and happy summer.
Enjoy your vacation in Crete ! I had 3 vacations there in the late '80s and have fond memories – the plains, Samaria Gorge, the Minoan archeological sites, the tourist resorts and modern cities like Heraklion.
I was forever bemused by the fact that road signs were in 3 scripts.
safe travels, Leo. Have fun.
Thank you for your good wishes and enjoy your summer.
Greek food!!!!! Don't eat too much Leo.
I envy you your holiday in Greece — please enjoy. In 1977, I went down the Samarian Gorge and read "Zorba" while resting on the beach there, so beautiful. I went back to Crete over the years, but the last time was in 1997. I am sure it has changed a lot since then. I used to live on Santorini, and it has changed beyond recognition. Have some of that wonderful olive oil on bread for me — there is no olive oil in the world better than Cretan olive oil.
You might enjoy also Kazantzakis ( wonderful writer ) Anaphora ston Greko, his autobio, especially if you have an interest in modern Greek lit, as it has much about the poet ( Sikelianos if memory serves ) with whom he lived at that time. This may convey a false impression these days as the relationship was not romantic.
Kazantzakis felt a spiritual kinship to the famous painter.
Good holidays and na sta kala.
What little I know about Crete I learned from Anthony Beevor's "Crete: The Battle and the Resistance", about the WW2 invasion and occupation of Crete. To hear Mr. Beevor tell it, the Cretans fought back hard. Some of that defiance seems to have rubbed off on you.