The Global Minotaur


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America, Europe and the Future of the Global Economy, is the subtitle of the new edition (cover on the left above). The original, 2011, edition’s subtitle was America, the True Causes of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy (cover on the right above).


The book is one of those exceedingly rare publications of which one can say they are urgent, timely and absolutely necessary.’ – Terry Eagleton

‘Yanis is one of the best, brightest and most innovative economists on the planet’ – Steve Keen, author of ‘Debunking Economics’

‘In the most comprehensive guide to the contemporary economic crisis yet written, Yanis Varoufakis traces out the path from post-war US economic supremacy to the current predicament. This book’s provocative thesis, written in lively and impassioned prose, is that which neither the US nor the EU nor any other nation can now restore robust global growth. Whether you agree or disagree, this book’s lively and impassioned prose will engage you both heart and mind, and hold you in thrall to the last word. The Global Minotaur is a masterwork that registers for all time the challenge of our time.’ – Prof. Gary Dymski, University of California, Riverside

‘If you want to know how serious the current crisis is, you should read his book. With much eloquence, Yanis Varoufakis argues that the current financial problems are connected to the emerging fault lines of the international monetary system. The US (the Minotaur) used to govern the international monetary system, but no more; and this crucially means that there is no surplus recycling mechanism that can reliably stabilise the world economy. The elephant in the room, so to speak, is a stumbling Minotaur.’ – Prof. Shaun Hargreaves-Heap, University of East Anglia

‘Yanis Varoufakis is a rare economist: skilled at explaining ideas, happy to join in public debates and able to put his discipline in a broader context. You may not agree with what he says, but you’ll enjoy the way he says it.’ –
Aditya Chakrabortty, The Guardian lead economics writer


In this remarkable and provocative book, Yanis Varoufakis explodes the myth that financialisation, ineffectual regulation of banks, greed and globalisation were the root causes of the global economic crisis. Rather, they are symptoms of a much deeper malaise which can be traced all the way back to the Great Crash of 1929, then on through to the 1970s: the time when a ‘Global Minotaur’ was born. Just as the Athenians maintained a steady flow of tributes to the Cretan beast, so the ‘rest of the world’ began sending incredible amounts of capital to America and Wall Street. Thus, the Global Minotaur became the ‘engine’ that pulled the world economy from the early 1980s to 2008.

Today’s crisis in Europe, the heated debates about austerity versus further fiscal stimuli in the US, the clash between China’s authorities and the Obama administration on exchange rates are the inevitable symptoms of the weakening Minotaur; of a global ‘system’ which is now as unsustainable as it is imbalanced. Going beyond this, Varoufakis lays out the options available to us for reintroducing a modicum of reason into a highly irrational global economic order.

An essential account of the socio-economic events and hidden histories that have shaped the world as we now know it.




So far, also available in German, in Greek, in Italian, in Spanish, in Czech and, most recently, in Finnish (for the Preface to the Finnish edition, click here)

(Click the icons below to be taken to the specific foreign language edition.)

Czeck Cover

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32 thoughts on “The Global Minotaur

  1. Sir,
    I wish you all the luck in the world I just finished wachting your interview with the BBC newsnight I enjoyed it a lot.Lot of people in Holland are watching all the development in Greece because we also are getting weary from the austerity meausers taking place here .

  2. congratulations for your new job in the Greek government. It will be interesting to see how much of your ideas and approach to economy you can apply (or, should say, “you are allowed to apply by the powerful (EU, banks, German government, and a long etcetera of people that might be looking forward to prove you don’t have the power to implement real, meaningful changes). I hope you prove them wrong, and can make things better for the Greek people!
    by the way, would it be possible to get a digital copy of your books The Global Minotaur and the Game Theory A critical introduction? i saw on other posts you were willing to send them, so hopefully it’s ok for me to get them as well. Thanks!

  3. Χαίρεται, βρίσκομαι εκτός ελλάδος και προσπαθώ να βρω το βιβλίο σε ηλεκτρονική μορφή στα ελληνικά, δεν το έχω βρει πουθενά προς το παρόν, υπάρχει κάπου;

  4. Thank you for your book. I have just finished reading the 2013 edition. Your thesis is certainly interesting: it could help us, especially us who have no extensive knowledge in economics, understand much that is happening in world economic and political developments. It is a deep but flowing text and demonstrates your wide knowledge and deep culture. It is a real treat. I am looking forward to the study of your more demanding book, (with Halevi and Theocaracis), “Modern Political Economics: Making sense of the Post-modern World”.

  5. Am enjoying the book, have made it half way through. Though now seeing news reports of bankers and politicians talking of recovering and returns to stability without promise of change terrifies me.

  6. Dear Professor Yanis,
    Can the status quo in terms of the twin deficits of the United States be maintained, at least theoretically, without the Global Minotaur?
    By accounting identity, if one agrees with the late Wynne Godley’s depiction of how deficits interact (financial balances approach: (S – I) = (G – T) + (X – M)), then:
    1. The US Government, as a sovereign issuer of its own fiat currency, can technically afford to purchase anything that is for sale in US dollars. The US Public Sector does not actually finance itself through the bond market, nor does it rely on any foreign entity, public or private, to provide it with funds. The US Government cannot go broke. Liquidity does not technically have to be “recycled” into the US for the country to run a Public Deficit (G – T) which supports the Trade Deficit (X – M).
    2. In terms of the US Private Sector, banks can and do create money (loans) out of thin air. Loans create deposits. What banks mostly need to create loans are credit worthy customers… not reserves, not liquidity from overseas. Therefore, and again, liquidity does not technically have to be “recycled” into the US for the Private Deficit (S – I) to help support the Trade Deficit (X – M).
    Considering the above, do you agree that at least theoretically the absence of a Global Surplus Recycling Mechanism does not “necessarily” imply that we cannot continue further along this dual deficit path, for better or worse, just because an international funding loop has been broken or is being eroded?

  7. The book looks very promising judging by the reviews! Is the Greek edition offered in electronic format as well? I wasn’t able to find any sites offering an epub version.

  8. The book decrypts with a unique methodology the complex driving forces behind the 2008 global economic crisis, not found anywhere else. Never before, since the start of the crisis, I’ve found such an unbiased and open minded information as to how and why this global financial chaos took place. The content analyses in a simple yet accurate way the complicated mechanisms that contributed to the today’s fatal economic decomposition across all societies.

    Thank you Professor, for putting your effort to write such an outstanding book for the general (non-professional) public.

  9. hallo Giani…

    ich freue mich sehr das es noch Leute gibt in Griechenland die noch genügend Intelligenz, Patriotismus und Mut haben um die Wahrheit zu verbereiten !

    Bravo ! weiter so…

  10. Hi, will your book be available as an Audio book Unabridged in English.
    Very handy for the MP3 player.
    P.S. You have the perfect voice for it too may I say.Cheers.

  11. kirie varoufaki exo diavasei ola ta vivlia sas pio dynata pio iperifana atoma san kai esas ton kirio lapavitsa kai ton kirio vaksevani aksizei na na pisteuoume kathimerina kai na kratiomaste zontanoi

  12. Eisai o Monos pou leei tin alitheia kai o monos pou tha eprepe na einai ipourgos oikonomikon!!! Exo dei ola ta video sto utube Kai Tora diavazo to global minotaurous!!! Apla diastimikos

  13. Μόλις διαπίστωσα ότι είμαστε και οι δύο απόφοιτοι του Essex. Εγώ στο Department of Government το 94, μαχητικός αντιμαρξιστής, αλλά με επιχειρήματα και ανοικτό μυαλό τότε, και πάντα πρόθυμος να χρησιμοποιήσω κριτικά όλη την εμπειρία του συγκεκριμένου Πανεπιστημίου… Χαίρομαι που μαθαίνω ότι περάσατε και εσείς από εκει

  14. Συγχαρητήρια για το βιβλίο σας. Διατηρώ βιβλιοπωλείο στην Καλαμάτα, και έχω σπουδάσει οικονομικά. Τον τελευταίο καιρό, έχω διαβάσει ότι βιβλίο έχει κυκλοφορήσει για την ΚΡΙΣΗ, και πραγματικά θεωρώ, ότι ο “ΠΑΓΚΟΣΜΙΟΣ ΜΙΝΩΤΑΥΡΟΣ” είναι το καταλληλότερο για να κατανοήσει και ο πιό αδαής, τι πραγματικά συνέβη όλα αυτά τα χρόνια. Διαβάζω πάντα τα άρθρα σας στο Συνεχείστε να μας ενημερώνετε, όπως μοναδικά κάνετε. Σας ευχαριστώ, και θερμά φιλιά φιλιά στον τόπο γέννησής μου το Seattle

  15. Hello,
    As I would hate to wait for the bok to come over mail. Can I buy it in any bookstore in Athens this weekend?

  16. Thanks for keeping the book accessible to the layman. Enjoyed it immensely. Don’t understand why more academics don’t take the time to write for the rest of us. We’d pay.

  17. Just to inform you: The last Issue of the Books’Journal contains my extensive, benign and critical review of your “Monotaur”. I have enjoyed both to read it and to raise some critical points.

  18. Κάτι διασκεδαστικό από την κυριακάτικη Καθημερινή: αν δεν κάνω λάθος, το όνομα Βαρουφάκης δεν έχει φιλοξενηθεί ποτέ στις σελίδες της εφημερίδας, τώρα όμως αναγκαστικά τυπώθηκε: στη στήλη με τις κυκλοφορίες των βιβλίων, αφού η ελληνική μετάφραση του “Μινώταυρου” φιγουράρει πρώτη σε πωλήσεις. Μπράβο, και εις ανώτερα (απευθύνομαι στην έγκριτη εφημερίδα…)

  19. just a few hrs ago i received the book.Its very very interesting so far,congratulations.
    Ive just finished reading the part where you are describing the 3 toxic theories.I have a question regarding the Real Business Cycle theory.

    Cant this theory be true up to a point?In the case of Greece for example,considering that there is no government intervention (the austerity measures are a type of intervention) wouldnt the economy balance (meaning the recession would be a lot “softer” than now,if not non-existant) at least up to a point through the “help” of automatic stabilizers?
    They exist by nature of the system and they require no intervention in order to work!

  20. Great! Only one question: I would like to know if the book will be translated in italian. When will it happens? If it will be I’d like very much to recommend this book to my friends! Let me know, please.

  21. Congratulations for your book. It gave me a great insight of how the global economy worked from 1900 onwards and the big probability of global imbalances and tensions developing in the short-term.

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