Further to this piece on my unlikely friendship with Lord Lamont, the BBC’s Radio 4 interviewed us, together. To hear the interview, on World At One, click on the play button below.
In a recently released recording of a teleconference between Yanis Varoufakis and a group of hedge fund managers, Mr Varoufakis spoke frankly about the contingency plans he had developed when he was the Finance Minister. Continue reading
Yanis Varoufakis erklärt in einem neuen Buch seinem Kind, warum die Griechen nichts für ihre Situation können.
A conversation I was privileged to have with John Nash in June 2000 is posted below as a small tribute to a great man.
(The conversation was motivated by a talk John Nash Jr gave in Athens in 2000 entitled IDEAL MONEY. The text of the conversation below was published in 2001 as a chapter in a volume, available only in Greek, entitled Game Theory: A volume dedicated to John Nash, edited by K. Kottaridi and G. Siourounis)
Last summer (an aeon it seems before my recent sojourn into politics&government) I spent ten days writing a short book in Greek on economics. The idea was to write it as if it were addressed to my young daughter, so as to keep complex ideas simple and to test my capacity to home in on what matters while discarding unnecessary complication. Now, a German edition of that book is about to be published and I was asked to author a preface for my German readers. Here is the result:
On the first day in our ministries, the power of the media to distort hit me again. The world’s press was full of reports on how the SYRIZA government’s first foreign policy ‘move’ was to veto fresh sanctions on Russia. Now, I am not qualified to speak on foreign affairs but, nonetheless, I must share this with you at a personal level. Our Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias, briefed us that on his first day at the job he heard in the news bulletins that the EU had approved new sanctions on Russia unanimously. The problem was that he, and the new Greek government, were never asked! So, clearly, the issue was not whether our new government agrees or not with fresh sanctions on Russia. The issue is whether our view can be taken for granted without even being told of what it is! From my perspective, even though (let me state it again) I am certainly not qualified to speak on foreign affairs, this is all about a question of respect for our national sovereignty. Could journalists the world over try to draw this important distinction between protesting our being neglected from protesting the sanctions themselves? Or is this too complicated?
The time to put up or shut up has, I have been told, arrived. My plan is to defy such advice. To continue blogging here even though it is normally considered irresponsible for a Finance Minister to indulge in such crass forms of communication. Naturally, my blog posts will become more infrequent and shorter. But I do hope they compensate with juicier views, comments and insights.
For hope to be revived we must all strive to change the ways of a dismal past. Maintaining an open line with the outside world may be a small step in that direction.
So, keep watching this space!
Yanis Varoufakis: Greece’s future finance minister is no extremist
The man touted as frontunner to be Syriza’s finance minister is not the socialist firebrand which one might expect
Syriza, a hard left party, that outrightly rejects EU-imposed austerity, has given Greek politics its greatest electoral shake-up in at least 40 years.
You might expect the frontrunner for the role of finance minister to be a radical zealot, who could throw Greece into the fire.
He is not. Continue reading
Today, the people of Greece gave a vote of confidence to hope. They used the ballot box, in this splendid celebration of democracy, to put an end to a self-reinforcing crisis that produces indignity in Greece and feeds Europe’s darkest forces.
The people of Greece today sent a message of solidarity to the North, to the South, to the East and to the West of our continent. The simple message is that the time for crisis-denial, retribution and finger-pointing is over. That the time for the reinvigoration of the ideals of freedom, rationality, democratic process and justice has come in the continent that invented them.
Greek democracy today chose to stop going gently into the night.
Greek democracy resolved to rage against the dying of the light.
Fresh from receiving our democratic mandate, we call upon the people of Europe and, indeed, the world over, to join us in a realm of shared, sustainable prosperity.
ON CHICAGO’s TOP RADIO SHOW
Since the demise of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 and ensuing great financial crisis (GFC), it would seem rather obscenely that central bankers and monetary policy has been obsessed with “deflation”, rather than remedying the actual causes of the crisis itself. Is this a fair analysis?
On 6th December, I was kindly invited by the editorial board of Science & Society (the oldest continuously published journal of Marxist scholarship worldwide) to deliver a keynote to its Editorial Board’s Annual Meeting. My talk was based on a recent critical review of Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century which can be read here. To listen to my talk, click...