Country Singer Merle Hazard Tackles the Greek Debt Crisis

BY Paul Solman  July 19, 2010 at 5:37 PM EST

We here at Making Sen$e have long been fans of Nashville investment adviser Jon Shayne, who became known to us as Merle Hazard, the singer and author of country-and-western songs about economics. We featured snippets of his performances in our interest rate explainer and stand-up economics piece earlier this year.

So, having become friendly with him over the last several months, we began to discuss a collaboration, and finally came up with the idea of doing a song (him) and explainer (us) about the Greek debt crisis.

Merle went more than the extra kilometer on this one, and came back with an opus so extravagant it could have formed the basis of a NewsHour piece all by itself. He assembled his very own Greek band; took online Greek dance lessons to make the choreography more authentic; and shot the whole thing in front of the full-scale replica of the Parthenon that happens to be in his home town of Nashville.

On the new, faster-paced NewsHour, working the entire music video into our own piece would have been not just a little but a lot too much. And so we’ve saved most of Merle’s efforts for what you might call a grand ole Opa — combining country music with Greek showmanship.