OPINION

Bοurla, Dimon, and so many others

Bοurla, Dimon, and so many others

A few days ago, I was watching CNBC. Along with its website, the TV channel is a well-respected, authoritative source of information, mainly on financial issues.

Millions of people choose it to see analyses of what is happening and – perhaps most importantly – what is expected to happen in economies and countries around the world.

The network’s first two news items were remarks, predictions and warnings by two internationally recognized figures. They talked about top two issues that concern humanity: the course of the pandemic and the prospects of the world economy.

The first news item was an interview with Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase, the largest investment bank in the world. He has been described as America’s most powerful banker, perhaps even the world’s, and that’s no exaggeration.

Dimon, who is of Greek descent, is the son of Theodore and Themis, with roots in Izmir – his paternal grandfather, who migrated to the US at the start of the last century, changed the family name from Papademetriou to Dimon. Speaking to CNBC, he forecast that the US would have the best economic growth in decades, but at the same time warned that the stock market would have its ups and downs.

The second news item featured statements by the head of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, who announced that the pharmaceutical giant he leads will have a vaccine ready in March to tackle the Omicron variant.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Bourla, a Greek Jew, will be honored with the Genesis Prize Foundation’s annual award – also described as the “Jewish Nobel” – for his contribution to the development of a Covid-19 vaccine.

These were important remarks that concerned billions of people, by two “global personalities” of Greek origin.

Born in Thessaloniki, Bourla studied at the city’s Aristotle University, before following his path to distinction. As the vice president of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, described it Wednesday, “I would like Greek universities to continue producing people like Albert Bourla.”

And, of course, Bourla isn’t the only Greek in the field of medical research. There are also Stelios Papadopoulos and Michel Vounatsos at the helm of Biogen, George Yancopoulos and Christos Kyratsous of Regeneron, and so many others.

Similarly, Dimon isn’t the only big banker of Greek descent; he just happens to be the head of the largest bank in the world.

So many distinguished personalities, so many really special minds. They are all a huge national capital that, if utilized (steps have been taken, but much more is needed) on the basis of a modern, long-term, strategic, cross-party planning, would result in the multilevel empowerment of Hellenism.