Vindicated, while Lagarde emerges a loser? – David Marsh in MarketWatch

In his Monday column on MarketWatch David Marsh entitled his opinion piece: “Varoufakis vidicated, while Lagarde emerges as a loser”. Of course the point is not whether I have, or have not, been vindicated. The crucial issue concerns the viability, or otherwise, of the latest Greek deal. From day 1 I have been arguing that Ms Christine Lagarde has an interest in a negotiating impasse (between Greece and its creditors) so that she does not have to confess to the simple fact that the IMF’s staff will rebel if she signs another unsustainable loan agreement with a country whose debt is as unpayable as they come. For David’s analysis, read on… Continue reading

Death by Debt: My Response to The German Finance Ministry, by Jeffrey Sachs

Dr. Ludger Schuknecht, senior economist at the Germany Finance Ministry, explains his ministry’s viewpoint regarding Greece. This viewpoint essentially holds that Eurozone countries should live within their means; adjust to their debt burdens; and take their reform medicine as needed. If they do so, they will be successful, as illustrated by Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. Greece has only itself to blame, and indeed was on track to recover as of late 2014 if it had not deviated from its course.   Continue reading

Something is rotten in the eurozone kingdom – my op-ed in the Financial Times

Plan would have eased Greece’s chronic liquidity shortage, writes Yanis Varoufakis in the Financial Times.

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis arrives to make a statement in Athens, Greece, in this July 5, 2015 file picture. Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced his resignation on July 6, 2015, a day after Greeks delivered a resounding 'No' to the conditions of a rescue package. In a statement, Varoufakis said he had been "made aware" that some members of the euro zone considered him unwelcome at meetings of finance ministers, "an idea the prime minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement." REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/Files

paradox lurks in the foundations of the eurozone. Governments in the monetary union lack a central bank that has their back, while the central bank lacks a government to support it. Continue reading

A Most Peculiar Friendship

Crises sever old bonds. But they also forge splendid new friendships. 

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 17:  Former Cabinet Minister Lord Norman Lamont leaves the Ceremonial funeral of former British Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher at St Paul's Cathedral on April 17, 2013 in London, England. Dignitaries from around the world today join Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh as the United Kingdom pays tribute to former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher during a Ceremonial funeral with military honours at St Paul's Cathedral. Lady Thatcher, who died last week, was the first British female Prime Minister and served from 1979 to 1990.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Over the past months one such friendship has struck me as a marvellous reflection of the new possibilities that Europe’s crisis has spawned.

When I was living in Britain, between 1978 and 1988, Lord (then Norman) Lamont represented everything that I opposed. Even though I appreciated Margaret Thatcher’s candour, her regime stood for everything I resisted. Indeed, there was hardly a demonstration against her government that I failed to join; the pinnacle being the 1984 miners’ strike that engulfed me on a daily basis, in all its bitterness and glory. Continue reading

Dominique Strauss Kahn, addressing “German friends”

“In counting our billions instead of using them to build, in refusing to accept an albeit obvious loss by constantly postponing any commitment on reducing the debt, in preferring to humiliate a people because they are unable to reform, and putting resentments – however justified – before projects for the future, we are turning our backs on what Europe should be, we are turning our backs on Habermas’ citizen solidarity. We are expending all our energies on infighting and running the risk of triggering a break-up. This is where we are. A eurozone, in which you, my German friends, would lay down your law with a few Baltic and Nordic states in tow, is unacceptable for all the the rest.” For the complete text, click here

On the Euro Summit’s Statement on Greece: First thoughts

In the next hours and days, I shall be sitting in Parliament to assess the legislation that is part of the recent Euro Summit agreement on Greece. I am also looking forward to hearing in person from my comrades, Alexis Tsipras and Euclid Tsakalotos, who have been through so much over the past few days. Till then, I shall reserve judgment regarding the legislation before us. Meanwhile, here are some first, impressionistic thoughts stirred up by the Euro Summit’s Statement. Continue reading