It is with great pleasure that I received the news from Finland that my Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the Future of the World Economy has just been published in Finland by the good people of Vastapaino Publishers. (Click here for their site.)
My Preface to this Finnish edition follows: Continue reading
In this podcast you can hear my discussion with Phillip Adams, on ABC Radio National Late Night Live, on fiscal austerity and its discontents. The backdrop for this interview was, naturally, the Australian Federal Government’s attempts to ‘sell’ its latest Austerity Budget to the Australian people. (Click also here for my OpEd on ‘Austerity comes to Australia’, that appeared on the ABC’s White Paper e’magazine.)
Following the passing of an Austerity Budget by the Australian Federal Government, the editors of White Paper (ABC Radio National’s online magazine) commissioned me to write an OpEd on what lessons Australia should learn from the implementation of similar austerian fiscal policies in Britain and the Eurozone.
You can read my article by clicking here, or simply by reading on…
This was the longest break I have taken since this blog began life. Two and a half books were written, during that time, plus a great deal of swimming in translucent waters, like those depicted in the adjacent photo, was done.
With Europe continuing to experience its existentialist crisis, and the world at large more troubled than ever, it is now time to leave Nature’s wonders behind and return to our societies’ troubled waters.
In the next posts I shall ‘visit’ Australia’s latest Austerian Turn, before heading for Finland – where my Global Minotaur was just published (in fluent Finnish) and where I am to deliver a keynote this coming Monday on the state of Europe.
Photo: Polyaigos Blue (Please note that the blue-ness depicted is not photoshopped or enhanced in any way. This is what it looks like, on the south west corner of the barren island of Polyaigos, close to the island of Melos.)
Dear Reader, You may have noticed that my posts have ceased over the past week. Summer is responsible. A wonderful Greek summer, spent mostly on a tiny boat in the Aegean. Back in mid-July, with posts mostly reflecting my total immersion in the writing of my next book, entitled EUROPE UNHINGED: The next phase of the global crisis (to be published in New York by Nation Books). Till then, an image (of partner Danae & friend) to go with the spirit of the moment…
Faced with deflationary forces in its core, and a lasting depression in the periphery, the Eurozone requires a major investment drive. One of the Modest Proposal’s policy recommendations is that the European Investment Bank (along with the European Investment Fund) embarks upon a massive investment drive (up to 8% of Gross Eurozone Product) without any national co-funding. These investments could be funded through 100% issues of EIB-EIF bonds, with the European Central Bank purchasing, in secondary markets, sufficient quantities of these bonds to ensure that their yields stay well below 1.5%, thus making a European New Deal not only possible but also self-financing – and off the books of national budgets. Continue reading
In this Q&A with a Greek journalist, on the occasion of the launch of the Greek translation of the Modest Proposal, James K. Galbraith argues that Italy and Greece can play an important role in changing the terms of the European ‘conversation’, so that rational, minimalist solutions like the Modest Proposal can have a chance of saving the Eurozone. He also explains that the Greek implosion was always a political choice by Berlin and Frankfurt; and that if the troika squeeze is lessened, it is due to SYRIZA’s success – not to the success of the austerity program. Finally, he answers an important question on the Chinese government’s investment strategies in Greece and in the rest of the Eurozone.
“The Modest Proposal requires a change of thinking, not a change of European Treaties.”
“If Greece has been declared a success, it is largely due to the success of SYRIZA – not of the austerity program”
If you happen to be in Athens tonight (Tuesday 17th June), come to the Byzantine Museum (2 V. Sofias Avenue) at 8pm for the launch of the Greek translation of our Modest Proposal for Resolving the Euro Crisis 4.0. It will be presented by Yanis Varoufakis (who will speak to the proposal itself), George Krimpas (who will place it in a broader context) and Alexis Tsipras (who will speak to it as Leader of the Official Opposition and, primarily, the European Left party’s candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission). (Unfortunately no translation will be available.)
László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, has recently given a speech (at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin, 13 June 2014) entitled Social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union: What lessons to draw from the European elections? It is a good speech, well worth reading carefully, that outlines a proposal for a federal-like Eurozone-wide unemployment insurance scheme. While I have my concerns regarding its feasibility, and in particular the notion of fiscal transfers without democratically elected Eurozone federal insitutions, Mr Andor’s speech marks a third category in our classification of proposals to save the Eurozone: Federalist Anti-Austerians. For Commissioner Andor’s speech… Continue reading
Le Monde featured this piece on my research of social economies that emerge in video game communities. Readers may profit from reading the Reason interview on which it was based – and this recent keynote I delivered at the 2014 CFA Institute’s Conference in Seattle.
Ce que les jeux vidéo nous apprennent de l’économie
Recently I was at a coffee shop, and to test a metaphysical hunch I asked a few of my fellow caffeinated confreres this question: “What is money?” They all gave answers along the following lines. Money is an arbitrary symbol of exchange value that we just make up in order to facilitate trade and investment. Money itself isn’t any thing but it is a collectively believed in fiction which operates as a very useful means of exchange. Continue reading
In this radio interview I am talking with Norman Swan (standing in for Phillip Adams) on Europe in the light of the recent European Parliament elections. Click here for the ABC RN site or just click on the player below:
Proposals for resolving the Eurozone crisis, and re-designing its architecture, are multiplying – especially as evidence mounts that the crisis is continuing, despite all the official announcements of its end. Our Modest Proposal was the first to have been tabled, along with Breugel’s Blue Bond Proposal, back in 2010. In this review article, J.K. Galbraith and I argue that, while there is now a plethora of proposals for ‘fixing’ the Eurozone, there are only two competing camps. One is our ‘Modest Camp’, whose policy recommendations would re-configure the Eurozone immediately, using existing institutions, and without cumbersome federal moves that would legitimate a permanent Austerity Union. The other being, what we described as, the Federalist Austerians’ Camp. Click here for the OPEN DEMOCRACY site
Europe’s appalling handling of a euro crisis that was always going to happen, given its faulty architectural design, has triggered an electoral result in the recent European Parliament elections that is a clarion warning that Europe is decomposing. And it is decomposing precisely because of the Left’s spectacular failure to intervene both during the construction phase of Europe’s economic and monetary union and, more poignantly, after the latter’s crisis had begun. Continue reading
The ECB is now reaping the grim deflationary harvest it sowed by dithering for so long in the face of shrinking credit and a diminishing money supply – all due, of course, to four years of universal austerity at a time of frantic de-leveraging by bankrupt banking sectors too cosily intertwined with fiscally stressed governments. Continue reading
Solitary Subversives is about the Power of One in the face of oppression. About how one person’s refusal to succumb to authoritarian lies can make a difference. It begins with an almost forgotten Greek film, that I vividly recall having made an impression upon me along such lines, and then relates two other stories highlighting the capacity of one person to resist against all odds.
Solitary Subversives is our sixth article for the Witte de With Review (an initiative of Rotterdam-based Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art) of which we, vitalspace.org and I, are their… ‘Athens Desk’). Click here for the Witte de With Review site which contains several photos missing here. Or read on…
Stepping Out/In. Photo by Maria Papanikolaou (with the assistance of Dimitris Lazoulos), vitalspace.org
Finland, like my homeland, Greece, is a small country at a treacherous geopolitical crossroads that traditionally inspired great anxiety amongst its people, but also instilled into their character considerable resilience. Unlike Greece, from the mid-1990s until fairly recently Finland succeeded in turning itself into a net exporting nation, ostensibly capable of powering its way into the ‘core’ of Europe’s monetary union. So, when in 2010 my country sank in a sea of debt, Finland ended up as one of the countries that, reluctantly, guaranteed the gigantic loans afforded to countries like Greece. Soon after, Finland fell into the second ‘dip’ of its post-2008 recession, where it still languishes today. Continue reading
How the current policies of the Brussels-Berlin-Frankfurt triangle are based on a propaganda campaign reflecting continuing Crisis Denial and why they constitute an attempt to create a new financial bubble – Why SYRIZA is a pro-European progressive party, in contrast to UKIP and Ms Le Pen’s FN – What should we expect of the new Italian government and why there is important room for an alliance between Italy and a SYRIZA-led Greek government. In conversation with Alessandro Bianchi of L’Antidiplomatico (click here for the Italian version) Continue reading
Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s largest political party (SYRIZA), and the European Left’s candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, has just given Mrs Merkel (and her merry disciples around the Eurozone) an important lesson in democracy.