In Greece’s Crisis, Calamos Sees Big Money Opportunities

John Calamos.

ATHENS – Chicago money manager John Calamos Sr. said he sees “compelling opportunities” for investments in many Greek sectors despite a long-running economic crisis.

Speaking to the business newspaper Naftemporiki on the sidelines of The Economist’s annual conference, Calamos said Greece still has the potential to attract foreign capital although an avalanche of new taxes and political uncertainty have slowed interest.

The founder of Calamos Investments and its long-time CEO said however that the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA coalition that has reneged on anti-austerity promises needs to provide incentives for the country’s young educated who are fleeing the country in droves because they can’t find work or hope.

He said the government has to have clear and simple rules and “fair play” in the country’s business and markets although it has a reputation for corruption and favoritism.

He told the newspaper that capital flows to places where tax policies and regulations support entrepreneurship and responsible risk taking, including in the small business sector.

“By embracing privatization more fully, I believe that Greece will become a better destination for capital—both foreign investment capital and human capital. People go to where they are treated best, which is a driving force in migration today,” he said.

“If the private sector can grow sensibly, new jobs would be created and more people would prosper,” he said.

“A stronger private sector is especially important in creating an environment where more young people stayed in Greece. Greece’s younger generation is a tremendously valuable resource—highly educated and multi-lingual.

“By providing them with meaningful work, including the opportunity to be entrepreneurs, Greece could sow the seeds of growth for decades to come,” he said, although successive governments have done virtually nothing about it.