EA July 2015

Book Review: "Once Upon A Time in Russia, The Rise of the Oligarchs, A True Story of Ambition, Wealth, Betrayal, and Murder" by Ben Mezrich

JerroldSchecter‘Once upon a time’ is the way fairy tales begin. Ben Mezrich calls his tale “a dramatic narrative account” that runs from 1994 to 2013, tracing the rise, fall and death of oligarch Boris Berezovsky, interwoven with his partners, friends, and henchmen. They include the dour Georgian fixer-cum-advisor Badri Patarkatsishvili; his brilliant business partner Roman Abramovich; and former KGB and FSB (Federal Security Service) officer Alexander “Sasha” Litvinenko who refused to kill Berezovsky as ordered and fled to London where he was poisoned to death in 2006 by radioactive polonium 210.


Resounding Oxi (“No”) Vote Means Uncharted Future for Greece and the EU

Spellman 1After a week of shuttered banks and dueling rallies that drew tens of thousands of people, Greece’s voters resoundingly turned down a bailout package the ruling government vociferously opposed.  The landslide “no” vote on Sunday triggered many difficult questions for the country, leaders of EU countries, Brussels, and creditors — from the urgent, practical matters focused on reopening Greek banks Tuesday to the political consequences surrounding Greece’s future within the European Union.