[PDF / Epub] ☆ And the Weak Suffer What They Must?Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future ✩ Yanis Varoufakis – Saudionline.co.uk

10 thoughts on “And the Weak Suffer What They Must?Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future

  1. says:

    Regardless of my personal opinion of Mr Varoufakis him being an arrogant, attention seeking clown of a politician , this book was an insightful page turner and a crash course in capitalist economics and global economy, clearly presented even for the layman with virtually no previous economic knowledge whatsoever The book is divided roughly in two parts It begins with the post war economic decisions America and Europe took, the role Bretton Woods played for the future of the world in general, the reversal under the Nixon Shock of 1971, and the realities of the current Eurozone and Federal Reserve systems I was stunned by the eye opening astuteness of his presentation and the fair judgement towards all parties involved The second part deals with the 2008 financial crisis and its impact on Europe crippled by the very monetary union that was supposed to shield it when such events happen , and what the people in charge ended up doing to make it much worse In this, Varoufakis is unrelenting in his criticism, but it always backed up by solid economic logic He saves the most biting of his words on the bureaucrats and politicians of the EU who used the bailout to save the banks, but left the bills to the people And not just any people, but the weakest people in the weakest of nations not just Greece, but Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy Hence the title of the book.This book would have been extremely entertaining, if not for the fact that it s terrifyingly prophetic Varoufakis is right Europe is too important to be left to the Europeans Two world wars in the last century prove this quite obviously The crisis will never end if European leaders keep pushing policies that have repeatedly failed And will not be long after the week meet ruin, before the strong will stumble and fall themselves.

  2. says:

    This book is essential reading It should fill you with rage Varoufakis shows very clearly how the powers that be of the EU, unelected experts and technocrats, repeatedly destroyed the possibility of any humane solution to the economic crisis They repeatedly sided with the French and German financial sector against the peoples of Europe, helping create the conditions for this neofascist shitshow that now seems to be sweeping western civilization.At times as I read I couldn t help cheering on the dismantling of the EU, feeling that they re now reaping what they sowed Yet it should be noted that Varoufakis himself actually came out quite strongly against Brexit this past summer He reminds us that it s not enough to rage at corrupt and illegitimate institutions Simply tearing them down could lead to an even worse situation There is no alternative Margaret Thatcher on neoliberalism Their world is crumbling Ours is being built France s Front National on 11 8 16Are we living in a world in which there are alternatives again If so, by no means is this necessarily good news for humanity As bad as the status quo has been, of course things can always get much worse, and at the moment barbarism definitely seems to have the upper hand Varoufakis represents the possibility of a humane alternative he represents democratic socialism At a time when many liberals terrified for good reason are ready to blame the stupidity of the rabble, Varoufakis is a voice on the left calling for democracy, not less.But then what is neoliberalism No doubt the term is often used in a vague way, to denote something like the establishment It s possible, however, to fill it out with definite historical content, and that s part of the purpose of this book 1971, dissolution of the Bretton woods monetary system But balancing the requirements of a stable international system against the desirability of retaining freedom of action for national policy, a number of countries, including the US, opted for the latter A controlled disintegration in the world economy is a legitimate objective for the 1980s Paul Volcker, speaking at the University of Warwick, November 8, 1978 he would soon be appointed chairman of the Federal ReserveThe essence of his Warwick University lecture was, if America cannot recycle its surplus, having slipped back into a deficit position back in the mid 1960s, it must now recycle other people s surpluses The trick for America to gain the power to recycle other countries surpluses in the 1980s, Volcker believed, was to persuade foreign capitalists to voluntarily send their capital to Wall Street Tricky but not impossible The trick was to hit two usually contradictory targets at once on the one hand, push American interest rates through the roof while on the other, ensuring that Wall Street offered a lucrative for investors than its equivalents in other cities High interest rates are wonderful for those living on unearned income, the so called rentiers, but not so good for manufacturers who see their investment costs skyrocket and the purchasing power of their customers plummet For this reason, combining high returns to financial capital requiring high interest rates with high profit rates for American businesses requiring low interest rates was never going to be easy, and Volcker knew this It was a combination that could only come about if another way of providing that profit could be found And one way to do that would be to reduce wages On the one hand, the Fed would push interest rates through the roof while, at once, the federal government would turn a blind eye, indeed promote, policies that crushed the real wage prospects of American workers.And indeed this is what happened For the first time in American history, including the Great Depression, American blue collar workers were to face an age of declining real wages That secular decline, in a global economy buffeted by the controlled disintegration Volcker unashamedly spoke of, was the price poorer Americans were to pay so that the United States could maintain world dominance despite being a deficit nation The fate of the American working class set off a chain reaction negatively affecting poor people across the world by the 80s, Disintegration was in the air and the majority of people in a majority of countries eventually acquiesced to the notion that labor was overvalued and overprotected, manufacturing was overrated, while finance was undervalued and in need of unshackling Thus the process was already underway before Thatcher and Reagan came to power they merely gave it an ideological garb.

  3. says:

    Money, the procurement of, the managing of, the retaining of, or the sharing of, has never been one of my strongest areas of comp In fact, it is not a thick fat lie to say that economics, both personal and global, has induced violent terror and paranoia in me over my three decades of breathing These coins and rectangular crinkles of paper are our true masters, and wield ultimate power over us, and steer the courses of our lives so strongly as to crush our free will completely, relegating us to woeful prancing mutt creatures The former Greek finance minister elaborates with elegance on this state of affairs, outlining the chain of spiteful, power hugging events stemming from the Nixon administration to the formation of the EU that brought Europe into a period of miserable austerity, where the cashless have their souls stamped on by the wealthy repeatedly, and the bureaucrats devise elaborate ways to continue their soul stamping couched in the rhetoric of diplomacy and sound economic reasoning Bastards, bastards, bastards If your view on the human enterprise is similar to mine, i.e that we are incapable of basic decency in money matters, and self interest and wealth hoarding is a simple fact of our distinctly whiffy species, this excellent book will not change your view, although Yanis has a sliver optimism in his outlook than the cynical cash strapped Calvinist writing this A terrific, coruscating account on the failings of capitalism and a nightmarish peep into the black chambers of power.

  4. says:

    This book left me gasping for air than once Varoufakis looks at postwar European history through the lens of global monetary policy, from Bretton Woods to the ongoing reverberations of the euro crisis And a powerful lens it is to help us understand the turbulence we are witnessing today Through Varoufakis version of the facts the European project appears as a total fraud Worse, macro economic machiavelism and institutional insouciance have created a Frankensteinian monster that has now started to cannibalize itself The thesis is shocking but plausible and it is borne out by the recent maelstrom of events Seen from this angle, Brexit is not an anomaly but a perfectly predictable and, I am inclined to say, desirable milestone in the unraveling of the EU This book offers the proverbial nail in the coffin of my personal view on the Union I used to be a staunch supporter, but over the years I have grown increasingly disenchanted with this toxic cocktail of bureaucratic hubris, flagrant neoliberalism, democratic disdain and strategic myopia Reading Varoufakis I understand much better why and how we have been painted into this uncomfortable corner So how do we get out of this predicament The author calls for an urgent redesign of the monetary system that supports the euro The paradox of a continent that is divided over a common currency must be exchanged for another paradox a process of decentralized europeanization that increases institutional effectiveness at the European level and reinforces the constituent democracies of the Union We can only hope that the escalating series of stresses and shocks defaults, exits, migrant flows, terrorism, geopolitical setbacks wakes EU decision makers from their stupor and frees the citizenry from the shackles of the Bundesbank I recommend this book without hesitation to all European citizens This story needs to be known It is exceedingly well told to boot In fact, the book reads like a good thriller Pity that we re part of the plot and as good as powerless to extricate ourselves from it.

  5. says:

    The titular quote is from Thucydides, and refers to the Athenians mistreatment of the defeated Malians Essentially, the Athenians pig headedly demanded a pound of flesh from their defeated enemy ring any bells Well..this is well nigh vital reading for understanding the colossal cluster fck currently raping Europe Yanis doesn t mince words, either, warning that the Greek Golden Dawn unrepentant Nazis fascists are the tip of the iceberg, and that continental fascism is precisely what s at stake.This is the best European economic history of the Nixon Shock s , Post Bretton Woods, and the march towards the Euro, that I ve ever encountered, though I do remain skeptical about some of the motivations Varoufakis attributes to the various players, mainly French technocrats.but it s a minor quibble.There is no doubt that the PIIGS have been forced to endure Fiscal Waterboarding Yanis neologism and that the Troika are engaging in a species of Ponzi Austerity also a Varoufakis neologism , in which indebted countries are forced to borrow even money from themselves as they prop up supranational ie German and French banks..just enough to avoid default.As he points out, the culprit lies in the Maastricht treaty s ie what inaugurated the Euro, and the European monetary union wild insufficiencies The Maastricht Treaty quite notoriously precluded s the ECB from bailing out any individual nation The analogy, as has been mentioned by many, is as if Florida, or Nevada, were forced to dig themselves out of 2008 s hole alone, rather than be girded by Federal relief from Washington and or the Fed And this is the problem There s no Federal co ordination to collectivize European debt..but yet, they re tied together by a de facto gold standard which prevents a normal national response namely, de valuing one s currency.In essence, Maastricht failed to account for wild trade imbalances within a common currency, without any political recycling mechanism to address the trade deficit countries on the periphery.to Germany s core For example, think of the wildly imbricated nature of China America s death embrace China s massive trade surplus is simply recycled back to Wall Street who lends it back to the American consumer to buy..Chinese products In other words, it s China who s propping up the US s trade deficit.I must confess that I now see Angela Merkel in a much better light, because apparently, it is the independent German central Bank, the Bundesbank, who is playing the recalcitrant monster, by demanding that the Maastricht Treaty be followed unequivocally For deficit countries, the big bugbear remains that, pragmatically, it would take approx 12 months to leave the Euro In that time Bond speculators would bury a prospective exiting country in the bond market, by shorting the currency, sending them to hell, essentially So, in essence, they re bankrupt nations are caught between a rock and a hard place.Nevertheless I am left with several bloody questions leastwise, is why aren t the PIIGS countries a seeking loans outside of the EU.China and other Sovereign Wealth funds come to mind, and b one needn t announce an EU exit 12 months in advance I.E couldn t one prepare it on the sly, somewhat The amount of money that Greece needs is chump change to any advanced Western economy Over 90% of any bailout funds from the ECB to Greece, Ireland or Portugal is going directly to French and German banks, as opposed to the desperate countries who need it The Troika s entire mission in Greece is to warn Spain, Italy and France in that order of precisely what s in store for them, if they don t accede to austerity measures Problematically, it doesn t really take Keynes to figure out that austerity measures in the midst of the Great Recession is the single worst thing anyone can do Just ask Herbert Hoover It s pro cyclical and will lead to the nebulous liquidity trap, or Depression Right now, breaking up the European Union, and pointedly, breaking up the euro monetary union, seems the least painful option for Europeans, if they re not going to allot political powers and centrally coordinated monetary powers to an administrative body to collectivize European debt The obvious answers are a species of collectivized quantitative easing usually undertaken, precisely because it s a monetary solution from so called independent central banks, rather than politically approved fiscal stimuli, which, invariably, are never passed in their respective legislatures think of the difficulty the various TARP bills encountered in the U.SHowever, its quite clear that the current attempts at widespread internal devaluation ie lowering wages and cutting public expenditures, such as health care, pensions, unemployment insurance,etc will lead to right wing governments see France s NAtional Front, Hungary, Greece, and now the array of anti refugee Balkan responses.It s amazing to me that, given all that we know from Keynesian Economics, this all of this could l be avoided I have no idea how Varoufakis remains so calm in the face of such avoidable calamity They re playing with fire

  6. says:

    Unpacking the European Debt Crisis to draw lessons on global capitalism, banking crises, fascism, liberalism, and democracy The Good Economics as the Modern Religion The modern world is built on abstraction, on economics political economy, accurately, since it is a constant struggle of power relations How much do you really understand of the global commodity chain, financial speculation, central banking, asset and stock pricing, etc A society of immense inequality and economic volatility built on abstraction is vulnerable to manipulation Instead of investigating these abstractions, consider how much easier it is to scapegoat visible vulnerable groups during a crisis This is the appeal of fascism in the age of global capitalism, where entire nations of millions are swayed by the dictates of the global markets that they do not understand Whether the scapegoat is Jewish bankers or immigrants or petty criminals or social deviants, the actual vested powers remain sheltered behind their abstractions Thus, a heavy burden is placed on those who can describe real world political economy to the public Varoufakis is exceptional here his eloquent writing style brings to life all the experience he has with critically applying theory to history Talking to My Daughter About the Economy or, How Capitalism Works and How It Fails the most accessible jargon free intro The Global Minotaur America, the True Origins of the Financial Crisis and the Future of the World Economy part one on post WWII American plans, and this book part two is the aftermath in Europe Modern Political Economics Making Sense of the Post 2008 World a dive into applying theory to history At the very least check out his lectures Money Power Capitalism Devouring Democracy Future of Capitalism Trade Imbalances, Banking, Anti Democracy and Crises Now, radical readers might be bothered by all the attention paid to John Maynard Keynes, but post Great Depression capitalism is heavily influenced by Keynes We first diagnosis reality before we can fix it as Marx attempted with the volumes of Capital, building on and critiquing classical economists Varoufakis quoting Keynes As soon as a storm rises, bankers behave like a fair weather sailor who abandons the boats which might carry him to safety by his haste to push his neighbor off and himself in The core economics lesson of this book is the role of trade imbalances and banking in causing financial crises on the global stage Let s walk through this Trade Imbalances 1 Global capitalism has no Robinson Crusoe self sufficiency countries rely on one another as buyers sellers in the global markets 2 Asymmetrical relations are thus the norm some countries regions are net exporters while other are net importers 3 Further, one s trade surplus is another s trade deficit, and vice versa The hubris of nationalism despite all the rhetoric on competition between countries, if the buyers demand falls, then the exporters will suffer too 4 The instability of capitalism money flows from the deficit to the surplus region country i.e to buy their goods For large trade imbalances ex Germany vs France rest of Europe , this will be problematic as deflation grows in the deficit while inflation spreads in the surplus 5 Thus, global capitalism s trade imbalances require surplus recycling mechanisms to feed the deficit s demand and prevent a slip in one area spiraling into a systemic crisis Banking and Financial Crisis 6 Banks provide surplus recycling during the good times hence, Keynes fair weather sailor The surplus profits accumulates in their banks, which lend back to the deficit because they have higher interest rates due to their disappearing money 7 This promotes the deficit s demand, creating an import export boom, which further boosts financial confidence to lend All the while, the trade imbalance and the deficit s debt grows 8 And here is why this is only fair weather surplus recycling, because when financial confidence flips to financial panic from the over lending bubble bursting , the surplus banks will leave everyone else out to dry by refusing to lend to the deficit The deficit, reliant on loans, goes bankrupt Demand for surplus crashes in a debt deflation Systemic crisis hits global capitalism thus, the adaptations of central banking as lenders of last resort Flexible currencies as shock absorber 9 Now, one shock absorber is flexible values for domestic currencies 9a For the deficit the option of devaluation a cheapens the deficit s exports, making them competitive thus raising revenue and b shrinks debts in local currency relative to other currencies Example Iceland s recovery post 2008 9b For the surplus high demand for surplus increases the value of the surplus currency, which eventually makes their exports pricier thus less competitive This suggests why surplus German elites were willing to consider a monetary union with France.10 This balancing act is attacked by myopic elites, i.e surplus elites unfair competition , deficit s elites domestic assets devalued , deficit politicians nationalists seen as national weakness , etc., and weary labor, i.e deficit s labor negotiation gains lost from devaluation 11 Flexible currency values were stifled by the gold standard led to Great Depression , reliant on American surplus during Bretton Woods and American deficit post Nixon Shock, and stifled by the Euro Bretton Woods as American Surplus Recycling 12 New Dealers went through the Great Depression, influenced by Keynes understood the need for surplus recycling, building it domestically in the form of Social Security Federal deposit insurance Medicare food stamps most significantly the Military Industrial Complex, where the State and corporations negotiated to have production spread throughout the many varying surplus deficit states and districts 13 However, after WWII, America was so dominant that the New Dealers refused Keynes conception of an international central bank surplus recycling mechanism bancor America wanted to control the recycling of its own immense surplus.14 Thus, the Bretton Woods system they created was predicated on America preserving its surplus America would recycle its surplus by providing aide to rebuild Europe, and in turn Europe would provide the demand to consume American surplus America would use some of its surplus profits to maintain this system by defending others exchange rates against trade imbalance effects and currency speculators.15 New Dealers understood the need for shock absorbers to prevent any slump of the US dollar avalanching across the world So, America propped up puppets Japan and West Germany as strong regional currencies issued by central banks backed by heavy industries Global Minotaur as America Deficit recycling others surpluses 16 This lasted until the late 60 s, when America lost its surplus to competition America realized it can maintain hegemony by controlling global surplus recycling, even if it is not their own surplus So, the Nixon Shock ended Bretton Woods, and America switched to what Varoufakis calls the Global Minotaur , becoming the global deficit that fed on others surpluses Germany, Japan, later China 17 How would America profit As long as the surplus recycling took place in Wall Street, American Finance was well immersed from handling others profits, a tribute paid to the Global Minotaur 18 Thus, Financialization was initially required Wall Street neoliberals refer to this era as The Great Moderation , ending the post WWII Bretton Woods Financial Repression where New Dealers distrusted and restricted bankers after the Great Depression 19 Of course, unleashing banking means unleashing bubbles, as American Finance took the world s surplus profits and built a derivatives doomsday machine, bursting in 2008 The Euro crisis 20 European elites took Bretton Woods American surplus recycling for granted After the Nixon Shock, various monetary unions were tried, eventually leading to the Euro The key fallacy is French and German elites shenanigans leading to economic union without political unity, thus no space for democracy as even liberal parliamentary democracy is bypassed or political surplus recycling 21 Europe s economy was kept going by America s Global Minotaur surplus recycling until the bubble imploded in 2008 22 Ponzi growth becomes Ponzi austerity European elites bailout loans are not meant to reduce the deficits debts, which simply cannot be repaid this is the cost of the import export boom and banking frenzy, and additional austerity is the nail in the coffin The bailout loans are actually a transfer of bad debts held mostly by the surplus private banks to the public 23 And so, we have come full circle and return to the problem of global capitalism s abstractions, and how during a crisis this is a breeding ground for fascism as history has also shown Without a class conscious analysis of power and economics, liberal institutions are vulnerable to the divisions of nationalism, xenophobia, bigotry, etc The Missing Varoufakis makes a surprising but compelling case that the liberal economic institutions in Europe as in a worse state than America At this stage in the climate crisis, the future is socialism or barbarism, and the case for socialism has to be found elsewhere It is rather unfortunate that in a world of extreme inequality, the powerful demand so much attention by the simple fact that power rules It is not some morbid fascination that propels me to read so much Americentric and Eurocentric political economy I would much rather be catching up on Vijay Prashad s work at the Tricontinental Institute Further, how can we diagnoses Fascism without connecting it to Liberalism s colonial exterminations in the coloured continents Nazi s Lebensraum living space Fascism is Liberalism in crisis, when imperialism s brute practices are brought home Discourse on Colonialism Blackshirts and Reds Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism Need to read on banking, debt deflation, etc The Public Bank Solution From Austerity to Prosperity Killing the Host How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy J Is for Junk Economics A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception Where Does Money Come From A Guide To The Uk Monetary And Banking System

  7. says:

    Regardless of what Dr Varoufakis thinks about his books he is an academic and this is an academic book about the Euro and the role of currency in modern economies and our modern sovereignty expectations I enjoyed it but I have an interest in and I have done a lot of reading on modern economics and currencies I read Dr Varoufakis s blog religiously and I consider him a modern economic and political leader worthy of taking very seriously If you watch some of his discussions on YouTube you will see he has a fantastic wit His definition of economics as religion with graphs is now quoted every where He is serious without taking himself seriously Although I recommend this book highly be aware that I am a Varoufakis groupie and hardly objective.

  8. says:

    Severely flawed The main argument is fascists don t give money Well, but we all know the reality First, the only meaningful debt is when it finances some value generating projects, but the corruption Second, if you want to live well, don t borrow in the first place.I remember when some Greece government bitch I m not sorry for that came to Lithuania to argue for their trouble When we told her that our people s pensions are 3x lower than theirs, she said but cocktails at your bars are just 5 euros WTF, our pensioners don t even go to bars This simple example demonstrates flawed Greece thought process that was created through decades of steal, lies and corruption So flawed that they even can go to poorer countries and ask for money.Read this one before overrating this populistan shit Tax evasion and corruption in Greece.More Yanis Varoufakis s Fantasy PoliticsPopulism in power Syriza s challenge to EuropeYanis Varoufakis, Peddler of Snake OilSuch books only shows that some people are stupid, both sides, right, left, whatever, they just can t understand reality, they want to live in their VR fantasy worlds like surrogates.P.S To be clear, I m somewhat leftist that rightist, realistic classical liberal leftist that can t stand populistan idiocies.P.P.S Estimates in 2015 indicated that the amount of Greeks evaded taxes stored in Swiss banks was around 80 billion euros 2004 external audit exposed creative accounting practices Causes found by others included excess government spending, current account deficits and tax avoidance In 2009, the Greek government debt crisis developed, and the EU authorities suspected again a lack of credibility in its book keeping, hence the audits So, where is the answer Don t go into bad debt in the first place, because it ll end with much problems than you expect This is true like for any individual, same for countries.

  9. says:

    I started reading And The Weak Suffer What They Must in November 2016 and rapidly gave up as I was depressed about Trump In the intervening two years I ve developed coping mechanisms for Brexit and Trump related despair, so it was time to give Varoufakis another chance He is relentlessly critical of the EU in general and the euro in particular, in a fashion that to me clearly shows the fallacies of Brexit Varoufakis begins by explaining how the EU and Eurozone were constituted, based on the historical context of the Cold War, Second World War, and even earlier He then discusses what the euro was trying to achieve and why it was flawed from inception, before getting into the euro crisis of 2010 onwards and its specific manifestation in Greece Varoufakis is thus of the belief that to grasp the flaws of an institution, you must examine its history and why it behaves as it does There is none of this reasoned critique from Brexiteers Moreover, Varoufakis makes it very clear that there are no easy solutions to the Eurozone crisis, given the legal, political, and financial constraints involved He nonetheless puts forward a series of modest proposals to try and improve the situation without the need for longer term, difficult reforms This forms a stark contrast to the fantasies of Brexiteers who appear to believe you can simply reject and ignore the EU, despite its pervasive structural importance to the UK economy and legal system Varoufakis takes the radical approach, by the standards of British politics, of engaging with the reality of the situation, rather than ignoring it I was amused to see Brexit barely mentioned, as the EU clearly has much bigger and important problems to deal with than the Tory party fucking around Part of what makes being a remain supporter so maddening in the current stupid situation is that you re cast in the role of defending the EU I certainly agree with Varoufakis that it has many flaws and a serious democratic deficit, however I think that Britain leaving will do absolutely nothing to address them Instead, Brexit will make the UK a poorer, meaner, insular, and divided country If it even stays a country my support for Scottish independence is strongly correlated with the idiocy of behaviour in Westminster The ethos behind Brexit seems to hark back to a prelapsarian time, when British workers had no rights and Europe settled its internal differences with wars rather than meetings Apart from anything else, the idea that a return to the past is even possible beggars belief Varoufakis is at pains to show the path dependence of history The clock cannot be turned back and the EU will not conveniently vanish, leaving a blank slate All of which makes it incredibly ironic that the book s cover features a quote from Michael Gove praising Varoufakis.Brexit aside, I enjoyed this thorough, erudite, and spirited deconstruction of the euro s flaws The first chapter was slightly confusing, as it jumped backwards and forwards in time Subsequently, the narrative settled into a linear pattern and become totally engrossing I greatly sympathise with Varoufakis approach, as I too technically have a PhD in economics but think it s a bunch of bullshit assumptions that Marx was right about This summary of the euro s inescapable grasp is particularly good This is the beauty and curse of the Eurozone Once in, you lack a currency to cut loose of the euro you have only the euro To get out of Europe s monetary union, Greece or Italy, for example, would have first to create a new drachma or a new lira and then unpeg it from the euro But creating a new paper currency, distributing it around the country, recalibrating the banking and payment systems to function with it and doing everything else that would be required takes a minimum of twelve months Given that the purpose of going through the palaver of re creating a lost currency is to devalue it vis vis the currency in people s hip pockets, leaving the euro is tantamount to announcing a major devaluation a year before it happens At the drop of a hint of a devaluation twelve years hence, a frightful race is on Every Tom, Dick, and Harriet will rush to liquidate whatever wealth they have, convert it to euros, take their euros out of the banking system, and either stash them under the bed or carry them across the border to Germany or Switzerland for safekeeping Before you can say panic , banks fail, the country is drained of all value, and the economy collapses.This is disastrous because the Eurozone has no effective mechanism for correcting internal structural economic imbalances Given Greece s collapse and Germany s strength, it is deeply problematic that the exchange rate for their currencies is the same because they have the same currency Varoufakis points out that economic surpluses from export led growth within the Eurozone should be used to support deficit countries, otherwise imbalances will only get worse until countries like Greece end up immiserated and effectively bankrupt As the focus is on the Eurozone, Varoufakis sparse mentions of the US are generally to praise its sensible approach The book was of course written before Trump took the reins Nonetheless, he makes broader points about the euro crisis as a symptom of capitalism s wider failures In the 1980s and 1990s Europe s social democrats and America s democrats abandoned the idea that capitalism had to be civilised by driving a hard bargain with the captains of industry, supporting organised labour and containing the bankers natural instincts They forgot that unregulated labour and financial and property markets are profoundly inefficient They ignored inequality created as a by product of that inefficiency They lost sight of the fact that inequality destabilises financial markets and reinforces capitalism s tendency to fall on its face Overall, Varousfakis provides a convincing and enlightening account of the nature of and reasons for the Eurozone crisis Although we in the UK are distracted by the calamity of Brexit, this crisis is in no way over The dangerous levels of debt remain and austerity continues to promote the rise of neo fascism across Europe The situation is unstable and frightening Varoufakis provides a valuable insight into what went wrong, when, and how His suggestions to make things better also seem sensible, although I very much doubt they will be implemented Another of many stupidities of Brexit is its encouragement to the EU 27 to defensive retrenchment, rather than evaluation of its flaws and moves towards reform Britain has united the EU against us, reinforcing the very problems that the Leave vote was allegedly about The whole thing is so maddening that I wouldn t be reading about it over Christmas if it wasn t wholly impossible to avoid At least Varoufakis supports his views with clear evidence, rather than meaningless emotive soundbites.

  10. says:

    The best reason for reading about economics is the way it makes you realize how little you understand about the global shifts of power and how they play out I m reminded of when I first read Joseph Stiglitz, a man who also has some comments about how the Eurozone was created to protect the interests of financial elites, but also stresses that throwing out the project would be a disaster If you, like most people, don t know much about the Nixon Shock, or like most Americans, hear phrases like troika policy a lot without fully understanding the implications of it, this is an excellent primer.

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And the Weak Suffer What They Must?Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future download And the Weak Suffer What They Must?Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future, read online And the Weak Suffer What They Must?Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future, kindle ebook And the Weak Suffer What They Must?Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future, And the Weak Suffer What They Must?Europe's Crisis and America's Economic Future 8fa8bc1187f2 A Sunday Times Bestseller UK A Titanic Battle Is Being Waged For Europe S Integrity And Soul, With The Forces Of Reason And Humanism Losing Out To Growing Irrationality, Authoritarianism, And Malice, Promoting Inequality And Austerity The Whole World Has A Stake In A Victory For Rationality, Liberty, Democracy, And HumanismIn January , Yanis Varoufakis, An Economics Professor Teaching In Austin, Texas, Was Elected To The Greek Parliament With Votes Than Any Other Member Of Parliament He Was Appointed Finance Minister And, In The Whirlwind Five Months That Followed, Everything He Had Warned About The Perils Of The Euro S Faulty Design, The European Union S Shortsighted Austerity Policies, Financialized Crony Capitalism, American Complicity And Rising Authoritarianism Was Confirmed As The Troika The European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, And European Commission Stonewalled His Efforts To Resolve Greece S Economic Crisis Here, Varoufakis Delivers A Fresh Look At The History Of Europe S Crisis And America S Central Role In It He Presents The Ultimate Case Against Austerity, Proposing Concrete Policies For Europe That Are Necessary To Address Its Crisis And Avert Contagion To America, China, And The Rest Of The World With Passionate, Informative, And At Times Humorous Prose, He Warns That The Implosion Of An Admittedly Crisis Ridden And Deeply Irrational European Monetary Union Should, And Can, Be Avoided At All Cost