Greece’s Grand Decoupling, the Nuclear Option and an Alternative Strategy: A comment on Münchau

tripitoIn his latest Financial Times column Wolfgang Münchau concurs with much of what I have written here (on the Greek social economy’s deep coma) and here (on the reasons why investors are piling in) but goes on to suggest that Greece should seriously consider exiting the Eurozone. In today’s post I offer an evaluation of his argument. In brief, I argue that, while Münchau’s assessment of the situation on the ground is spot on, the use of the ‘nuclear option’ (i.e. threatening to exit the Eurozone) is neither desirable nor necessary as a means of forcing Europe to change its ways. Continue reading

Europe’s latest policy on Irish and Greek banking losses: A tale of two swindles too similar for comfort

Greece-IrelandThe Irish and the Greeks are, in many ways, very different people. And yet, caught up in the Euro Crisis, our fortunes have become too close for comfort. Recently, European authorities have devised a creative new method for damaging the people of Ireland and of Greece further. The new method involved imposed changes on the public financing of bank recapitalisations that shift even greater burdens on taxpayers and on the weaker members of our societies. This article examines the changes and answers the pertinent question: Why is Europe doing this?

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Of Masks and Shadows: The curious case of actors arrested on stage in Athens’ theater of the absurd

8The curious tale of two actors’s arrest on the stage of a derelict, occupied, Athenian theatre offers a window into life in Athens in the shadow of its wholesale economic collapse. 

This 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, and I, are party to, the ‘Athens Desk’). Click here for the Witte de With site which contains photos below. Or read on…  Continue reading

If Scotland, why not Greece?

Why an independent Scotland should get out of sterling, but Greece should not volunteer to exit the Eurozone

Bank of Scotland NoteScotland should state its intention to decouple from sterling, once independent, rather than petitioning for a continuation of its subservient role in an asymmetrical sterling union. Or so I argued in the Scottish Times in ‘Scotland Must Be Braver’ (28th November 2013). But if this is good advice for Scotland, why am I arguing that Greece should not sever its links with the even more odious monetary union known as the Eurozone? Unless the two cases differ, my argument lacks consistency. But they do differ. Fundamentally too. Continue reading

What you should know about Greece’s present state of affairs – an update

“It takes a passionate disregard for the truth to suggest that Greece is recovering.” That was my verdict last December upon being asked to comment on Greece’s rumoured recovery. Almost three months later, it is time for an update. The gist of today’s update is depressingly simple: Still, no sign of Greek-covery whatsoever. Indeed, every single indicator (including the ones that are presented as evidence of light at the tunnel’s end) points in a sadly negative direction…

For ease of distribution, this post can be downloaded as a pdf here. (Hungarian readers can read it in their language here.) Or just read on… Continue reading

Sick Predators: How a dying regime preyed upon women with HIV, invested in wholesale racism, and endangered public health

This is my fifth article for the Witte de With Review (an initiative of Rotterdam-based Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art). It is a chilling tale best read in conjunction with Zoe Mavroudi’s documentary ‘Ruins’. Click here for the Witte de With site which contains photos and footnotes unavailable below. The article’s text follows… Continue reading

Greece’s duty to negotiate with Berlin: Part B of an interview with Roger Strassburg and Jens Berger, of NachDenkSeiten

Roger Strassburg and Jens Berger, of NachDenkSeiten, interviewed me on the Modest Proposal to Resolve the Euro Crisis and the Eurozone Conference that James K. Galbraith and I organised in Austin in November 2013. Part A of the long interview was posted here. Here is Part B of the interview, which (as you will see) focuses more on Greece and the chances of kickstarting the debate that Europe is refusing to have, so far…. Continue reading

Greek Finance Minister Confesses: “I turned down the IMF’s offer of an alliance in favour of a debt restructure”

This is a stupendous story. Possibly for the first time in its tainted history, the International Monetary Fund had a major change of heart and tried to do the right thing by a ‘program’ country, only to be turned down by that very same country’s finance minister! Continue reading

On the BBC World Service discussing Greece’s assumption of the EU Presidency

On BBC World Service’s ‘Business Matters’ program, discussing Greece’s assumption of the EU Presidency for the first half of 2014 

Begins at 7’13” and ends at 18’50”