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:
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
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.
Europe went to the polls last weekend. Here is my take on the election results – in an interview with Thomas Farzi (author of The Battle for Europe: How an Elite Hijacked a Continent – and How We Can Take It Back).
- What’s your general take on the results of the European elections? Continue reading
In this European Parliament election, Europeans are confronted with a stark trilemma; with three competing narratives on the state of the Union one of which we must adopt and vote accordingly. Continue reading
In conversation with Andrew Brady of USiLive regarding the state of Europe now.
Some weeks ago I heard Arianna Huffington deliver a talk, in Austin, on sleep deprivation and the terrible decisions that it leads to. This made me recall that all the awful decisions of our European leaders (and there were so many of them) were reached at around 4.00am. I mentioned that to Arianna and she invited me to write a post for Huffington Post. Here it is… Click here for the Huffington Post site or… Continue reading
Over the past year I have argued that Europe needs a jolt. Continue reading
A group of noted international economists (including Joseph Stiglitz, Peter Bofinger and Stefanie Griffith-Jones), known as the European Progressive Policy Initiative (EPPI), has issued a policy paper that endorses the main planks of our Modest Proposal for Resolving the Euro Crisis 4.0.
EPPI was assembled in 2013 by Europe’s social democratic alliance in the European Parliament. This is significant, given the social democrats acquiescence to the Merkel-led toxic policies, which are causing Europe to fragment. Coming, as it does, a few weeks before the European Parliament Election, this policy document flags the potential for breaking the stranglehold over European politics of the indefensible ‘official EU position’, i.e. the toxic trio of claims that: Europe is on the mend – Austerity is working – Europe has taken important steps in shoring up the Eurozone’s institutions).
See also James Galbraith’s splendid review of T. Piketty’s ‘Capital’ here.
Who said that Easter has no significance in our cynical age, even to atheists like myself? Suffering, the sacrifice of the innocents, persecution of prophets of truth – it is all going on with a vengeance. On this note, Happy Easter to all. (The photo above was taken by Danae Stratou on the US-Mexican border in 2006, as part of her work CUT-7 dividing lines. Each of the smaller crosses, making up the larger one, has a name on it – of one that perished in the attempt to cross the border in search of employment).
Greece is about to issue 5 year bonds again. Berlin, Brussels, Frankfurt and Athens are celebrating Greece’s recovery. For my part, I think (and tell the BBC World Service) that this is a sad day for Greece and it is a sad day for Europe. Why do I refuse to be impressed and join in the celebrations? It is because the Greek state and the Greek banks remain deeply insolvent. And, their return to the money markets is a harbinger of the next terrible phase of Greece’s crisis, rather than a cause for celebration. Continue reading
Thomas Piketty has a new book out: Capital in the Twenty-First Century. It is an ambitious volume that sets out to explain the sources of inequality and social tensions in the context of his own anatomy of… Das Kapital. As this book is receiving a great deal of attention, a proper review is in order. Thankfully, James K. Galbraith has provided such a review, published in Dissent – a Quarterly of Politics and Culture. Click here for Dissent’s website or read on…