Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

New Habits for Old

Thanks, again, to friends who are sending through some stonkin' stories. Please continue to do so :>)

Here is one man's take on dealing with the credit crunch:

TSURNOGORSKI MONASTERY, Bulgaria (Reuters) - Brother Nikanor, a Nasdaq broker turned monk, advises former colleagues to put a jar with soil on their desks to remind them where we are all heading and what matters in life.

As western banks fold into each other like crumpled tickets and commentators portray the current crisis as the last gasp of modern capitalism, Hristo Mishkov, 32, shares the pain -- and offers home truths.

His story partly resembles that of Brother Ty, the monk-tycoon protagonist of the 1998 satire "God is my Broker" by U.S. writers Christopher Buckley and John Tierney -- he failed on Wall Street and became a monk.

But 10 years later, the similarities are superficial: the Bulgarian had a successful broking career, does not write self-help manuals and aims to get happy, not rich.

His interest in financial markets began under communism in the 1980s when he and other children created their own play stock exchange in their apartment block's basement in Sofia.

Five years ago, after failing to find happiness in the life he lived, the Christian Orthodox who hadn't practiced as a child quit the New York-based market for a dilapidated Bulgarian monastery that once served as a communist labor camp.

Retaining one luxury -- a mobile phone, which connects him with both potential donors and former trading colleagues -- he has brought the rigor of his broking experience to his faith.

He has helped to raise hundreds of thousands of levs (dollars) to rebuild the monastery -- a hard task in a country where charity is not part of the mentality and building shopping malls and golf courses is a priority


  1. Brother Nikanor is doing something rational economic man is supposed to scoff at - consciously working to help others. What irony then that its the rich begging handouts but I doubt they will emerge from this crisis any more compassionate or reasonable.

  2. Rational economic man has fekked the rest of us over! The only new thing is that he has fekked us over having already fekked us over!

    But somehow, me thinks, REM (the bloke not the band) will come out of this smelling of lucre type roses because the system must prevail and the system is funded by REM.

    The cronicly sick thing about this is that the public now own the banks...only we don't really...they will be given independance at some point in the future having rebuilt themselves on the public's money (whilst having the public's savings already). Now that is seriously shafting Jo Public where the sun don't shine.

  3. I think that bloke deserves a medal. Raising cash in E. Europe is difficult as people are hard up and charity giving as they say isn't part of the culture like it is here. He's using his skills to help the religious organisation he truly believes in. Buddhist monks fundraise to support their monasteries all the time. Good for him!