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Wall Street trader becomes a monk

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  • natwoon
    By Nick Squires Last Updated: 12:01am BST 03/10/2008 Hristo Mishkov had a successful career as a broker on the Nasdaq stock exchange in New York until he
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 3, 2008
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      By Nick Squires
      Last Updated: 12:01am BST 03/10/2008

      Hristo Mishkov had a successful career as a broker on the Nasdaq stock
      exchange in New York until he decided to give it all up to return to
      his native Bulgaria.

      His radical change of circumstances may start to look appealing to the
      tens of thousands of finance sector employees who face the bleak
      prospect of losing their jobs.

      Exchanging tailored suits and expensive shoes for a cassock and
      sandals, Brother Nikanor, as he is now known, believes Wall Street and
      the City deserve all they get as the credit crunch bites deeper and
      the global financial system goes into meltdown.
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      "It is right to see people who consume more than they deserve
      shattered by a financial crisis from time to time, to suffer so that
      they can become more reasonable," he said.

      He has scant sympathy for bankers and brokers around the world who are
      at risk of redundancy.

      The collapse of banks and investment firms was a necessary correction
      because they had grown greedy, he said. "Many people ... in the world
      do not realise that they have not earned the food they eat, that they
      take without giving," said Mr Mishkov, 32, who worked for Karoll, one
      of Bulgaria's leading brokerages.

      "But if someone consumes more than they have earned, it means someone
      else is starving."

      His colleagues were stunned when he decided to become a monk, but he
      had made up his mind to seek spiritual well-being rather than material
      wealth.

      "Everybody can be a good broker but this does not bring much benefit
      for the world," he said.

      "We always search for happiness in the outside world, in material
      things, which makes us constantly unsatisfied, angry with ourselves
      and the world."

      Where once he milked the money markets, Mr Mishkov now wakes at dawn
      to attend to a herd of cheese-producing buffalo in the 12th century
      Tsurnogorski monastery in which he lives, 30 miles west of the
      Bulgarian capital, Sofia.

      But he has not entirely turned his back on his past.

      When he became a monk five years ago he retained just one luxury – a
      mobile phone – and has used it to raise hundreds of thousands of
      pounds from former trading colleagues and Bulgaria's wealthy to
      rebuild the dilapidated monastery, which was used as a labour camp
      during the communist era.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/global/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/global/2008/10/03/noindex/monk.xml&source=EMC-exp_03102008
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