Discussing Austerity with Phillip Adams, on Late Night Live, ABC Radio National

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.)

Austerity comes to Australia – OpEd, WHITE PAPER, ABC Radio National

Screen Shot 2014-08-22 at 11.18.49 AMFollowing 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…

Continue reading

Preface to the Finnish edition of the Global Minotaur

MinotaurFinland, 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

A Review of the Global Minotaur (2nd edition) from an Australian perspective; by Paul Tyson

German CoverIs there Life After Money? A Summary, with comments, of Yanis Varoufakis’ The Global Minotaur: America, Europe and the future of the world economy, Zed Books

By Dr Paul Tyson, Honorary Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham.

[Note that the cover displayed here is of the German edition. Click here for the main page on the book.] Continue reading

Austerity as a destabilising assault on the New Deal institutions: A joint presentation by J.K. Galbraith & Y. Varoufakis (video)

A debate involving James K. Galbraith, Yanis Varoufakis and Jeff Sommers (in the role of moderator) took place on 24th February at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in the context of the George Kennan Distinguished Lecture Series. An amateurish recording is available here. For ease of ‘navigation’, a list of topics (with their location on the recording’s timeline) is presented below.

  1. During the first few minutes, J. Galbraith talks about George Kennan (given that the occasion was The Distinguished George Kennan Lecture Series).
  2. Then for forty minutes Y. Varoufakis and J. Galbraith discuss austerity: its intellectual and historical roots, the political motivation driving it in the US and in Europe and the general state of play in the US and Europe (including an intervention from Jeff Sommers on the Latvian experiment with austerity).
  3. Starting at around 47′ we discuss  minimum wages , presenting the microeconomic, macroeconomic and social importance of raising minimum wages to a level that they can sustain a decent life – plus a rejoinder to the false claim that higher minimum wages will depress employment. 
  4. From 58’30” to the end, a discussion with the audience ensues (questions are not clearly audible – but our answers are!)

Is the World Re-balancing?

Before the Crash of 2008, the dominant view amongst the world’s policy-making elites was that global imbalances were not a problem. The great and the good in Washington and in London, in Paris and in Frankfurt, at Davos and on the golf courses where deals of note are struck, dismissed as economically-illiterate moaning-minnies all those who dared warn against large current account imbalances. Caught up in the soothing fiction of the ‘Great Moderation’, and the toxic fantasy that finance had invented ‘riskless risk’, the powers-that-be were adamant that we were living in a ‘new paradigm’. Continue reading

Did the Fed cause the Crash of 2008?

The Crash of 2008 is often blamed on the Fed’s overly ‘loose’ monetary policy after 2001. In short, the argument goes, American monetary policy was too ‘loose’ for four years between 2002 and 2006; and too ‘tight’ once the Fed realised that it was presiding over an unsustainable boom. In this post the reader can read a long article (click here for the complete pdf)  in which I debunk this simplistic, and fatally flawed, theory.  Continue reading

Being Greek and an Economist While Greece Burns: An intimate account – MGSA Keynote 2013

(Gonda Van Steen introduced the audience to the MGSA 2013 Conference and Artemis Leontis introduced me. The talk begins at around 10′, when the audio becomes loud and clear)

The Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA) kindly invited me to deliver its 2013 Keynote, at the MGSA biannual Conference held at Indiana University. I grabbed the opportunity to speak auto-biographically and to place the Greek and global crises in a broader context of the discursive battles raging within economics. You can listen to the talk below, click here for a pdf copy or read on for a web version of the text… Continue reading

On ABC Radio National’s ‘Big Ideas’ program: ‘The Dirty War for Europe’s Integrity & Soul’

ABC Radio National’s ‘Big Ideas’ program has now broadcast my talk entitled The Dirty War for Europe’s Integrity & Soul (original broadcast: 30th October, 20.05 Sydney time). [Click here for details of the lecture.]

For the complete transcript click here – please note that the ABC (to fit in both the talk and the discussion the followed in 55 mins) edited out an important analytical part concerning the history of the European Union (which I use to explain why the current crisis is not resulting in a move toeard further union/integration). 

Lastly, here is an earlier interview on the contents of the same lecture with Philip Adams on the ABC RN’s Late Night Live (recorded on the eve of my talk). 

Jobs, Investment, and Rebuilding America: Economic and National Security Issues – Workshop in Washington DC, 12th November

Economists for Peace and Security is organising a workshop on Jobs, Investment, and Rebuilding America: Economic and National Security Issues. It will take place at the Hyatt Regency, Washington DC, Capitol Hill. The keynote speech will be delivered by  Jason Furman, Chair of the US Council of Economic Advisers. My involvement will concern the economic and financial risks that the Eurozone imposes upon the rest of the world. For the complete program… Continue reading

The Dirty War for Europe’s Integrity and Soul

Inaugural ‘Europe Public Lecture’, UWS, State Library of New South Wales, Sydney

On 23rd October 2013, I was honoured by the Department of History of the University of Western Sydney with an invitation to deliver their inaugural Europe Public Lecture. The event took place in the State Library of New South Wales, in Sydney. The talk was transmitted by ABC Radio National’ ‘Big Ideas’ program on 30th October (click here). You can also hear this interview, on the theme of my talk, with Philip Adams on Late Night Live. Read on for the full transcript of the talk… Continue reading

Off to Oz to talk Europe

Next Wednesday evening, the 23rd of October, I shall be delivering The Inaugural Europe Lecture of the University of Western Sydney at the State Library of New South Wales. (Please note that till then postings will be rudimentary.) The talk itself will be entitled “The Dirty War for Europe’s Integrity and Soul” (For details click here). I plan to give an angry but, at once, nuanced and temperate talk. A talk by an ardent European who is livid that Europe is unravelling. Continue reading

Professor Fama’s ‘Nobel’ Prize toxic theory explained

Readers have requested a summary of the Efficient Market Hypothesis, which is in the news again as a result of the ‘Nobel’ Prize award to Professor Eugene Fama – see this instant reaction on the matter). In what follows the reader can peruse very brief presentations of the triad of toxic theories that undermined macroeconomic logic and helped legitimise the practices that contributed no end to the Crash of 2008. They are: the Rational Expectations Hypothesis, Eugene Fama’s Efficient Market Hypothesis and the so-called Real Business Cycle TheoryContinue reading

The Modest Proposal as a Trojan Horse for the dreaded transfer union: Guest post by Hubert Marcks

To all those who can’t help but feeling that an external surplus recycling mechanism as described in the modest proposal would just be an appeasing technical term for the dreaded transfer-union and that it would condemn the deficit countries into eternal servitude, I would like to point to an example within the mother of all surplus countries which shows that this is does not necessarily have to be the case. Continue reading

Why asymmetrical monetary unions are bound to fail (unless they feature an effective, extra-market surplus recycling mechanism)

Asymmetrical monetary unions, wherever and whenever tried in combination with free trade and deregulated capital movements, ended up in tears and retribution. The Gold Standard, the various pegs between domestic currencies and the US dollar (S.E. Asia, Argentina, Mexico etc.), the ERM (European Exchange Rate Mechanism), the Eurozone that followed the latter’s collapse etc. they all resembled invasions of Russia – that is, a brisk beginning full of enthusiasm and hope, rapid progress that seemed unstoppable, followed by a heart wrenching slowdown as Cruel Winter took its toll, ending up with blood on the snow and infinite retributions thereafter.

This short paper offers a theoretical explanation of asymmetrical monetary unions’ inexorable slide toward crisis and explains:

(a)  Why the Eurozone’s current response to its crisis (e.g. the so-called banking union decided upon, the ECB’s OMT, the insistence on austerity with ‘structural reforms) will ultimately fail, and

(b)  Why our Modest Proposal for Resolving the Euro Crisis offers a minimalist yet sufficient prospect of reconfiguring the Eurozone in a manner that renders it viable. Continue reading