Finland, 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
Is 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.
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.
- During the first few minutes, J. Galbraith talks about George Kennan (given that the occasion was The Distinguished George Kennan Lecture Series).
- 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).
- 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.
- From 58’30” to the end, a discussion with the audience ensues (questions are not clearly audible – but our answers are!)
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
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
(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
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).
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
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
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
Cooled down in the proverbial 11th hour, at least until it is brought back on the boil next January, the US debt ceiling clash puzzles Europeans and gives them an opportunity to re-asses their own leaders’ shenanigans. Continue reading
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 Theory… Continue reading
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
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
The speech below was delivered on 29th August 2013 at ITAM, Mexico City, in the context on a conference on planned financial sector reforms in Mexico; organised by IMEF (the Mexican Institute of Finance Executives), in collaboration with UNIFIM (a confederation of Mexican owned financial institutions). For an audio of my talk click For the text… Continue reading