The Modest Proposal in Toronto. Today, Monday 7th November, 16.00

7th November, University of Toronto: Invited to speak on The Euro and the European Crisis by the Munk School of Global Affairs at Toronto University.

The advertisement states: “As the eurozone crisis is unfolding, threatening in the process to infect the global economy, the debate currently raging in Europe (on how to tackle the cascading defaults and insolvencies) has become relevant worldwide. Varoufakis suggests that it is impossible to understand what is going on in Europe today without first grasping the state in which the global economy finds itself in the post-2008 era. Moreover, he wants to argue that the solution the Europeans are struggling to conjure up cannot be independent of the manner in which the world economy must be restructured.” For more click here.

NEXT EVENTS in the N. American Lecture Tour

8th November, Brecht Forum, New York: A double act with  Professor Rick Wolff on the subject of  Global Capitalism. Click here for more.

9th November, Columbia University, New York: The Global Minotaur: The Crash of 2008 and the Euro-Zone Crisis in Historical Perspective

“This talk on The Global Minotaur: The Crash of 2008 and the Euro-Zone Crisis in Historical Perspective will feature Yanis Varoufakis, Professor of Economics at the University of Athens, Alan Beattie, International Economy Editor at the Financial Times, and Justin Fox, Editorial Director of the Harvard Business Review Group. Mark Mazower, Director of the Heyman Center, will chair.” For more click here.

10th November, New School University, New York: The Dance of the Meta-Axioms – An account of economics’ most peculiar failure.

This will be a rather academic seminar in which I shall attempt to dissect the inherent indeterminacy which throws a spanner in the works of all attempts to understand capitalism via determinate mathematical models. More details to follow.


3rd and 4th November, University of Texas, Austin: A two day conference (entitled Crisis in the Eurozone) to debate our Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis, kindly organised by Professor James K. Galbraith

Here is an extract from the brochure:  “The Crisis in the Eurozone will take place Nov. 3 through 4 and is sponsored by the Center for European Studies, EU Center of Excellence, and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin with the assistance of the Institute for Historical Studies, the Department of Government, and the France-UT Institute. This conference will provide an opportunity to assess the performance of Europe’s financial architecture and to learn about one of the most serious economic threats of our time. The event will focus on the “A Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis” by Yanis Varoufakis and Stuart Holland, which would combine the innovation of the Eurobond with a “New Deal” approach to European development.” For the complete program, the list of distinguished speakers and more click here.


  • So everything Papandreau’s fault? Maybe he didn’t handle what he inherited well, but are you saying the previous New Democracy Government were blameless, and didn’t hand him a can of woms.

    As far as I can see the whole problem started in 2008 with the American crisis, which threw the world economy into a tail spin. Now the U.S. cry that a collapse in Europe will effect them.

    There may well have been some corruption, but the money Greece was encouraged to take was spend wisely, improving the infrastructure, new airport, new highways, magnificent new Museum ect. Mostly conceived and carried out under Pasok.

    They say the difference between the Jews and the Greeks is that the Jews help each other up the ladder, the Greeks push each other down. Prof. Varoufakis is typically this type of Greek that is not to be admire. Shame on you.

    • So, the failure of the Greek rescue is to be blamed on me and people like me who had warned that it was ill-designed? Interesting.

    • @Jecchinis,

      Before the recent fiasco, the introduction and withdrawal of a plebiscite as an option out of the blue, that enraged the european leaders , I would have said that Papandreou was the average kicking the can down the street greek politician who was handed a hot potato. After his play, I consider him dangerous for Greece. That was ABSOLUTELY his fault, it made Greece the onus of the international community and a punching bag. If a person, after participating for two years in international committees is not able to gauge the responses of the participants what can one say about his intelligence?

      The main problem with our unbalanced budget was introduced by PASOK in 1981+ , by the doubling of the civil sector, which not only was not checked by subsequent governments but was intentionally enhanced so as to get votes, by both parties. In addition the strong syndicates of civil servants managed to increase their part of the pie with strikes and threats of strikes to the point of getting an average salary 150% of the private sector average salary, making the civil service the aim of the thousands of university graduates. A recipe for disaster which was not checked by anybody. Any time someone in power tried to reform the system they failed because the resistance of the syndicates was enormous. Until the $hit hit the fan with the world crisis in 2008.

      The present point in Greece is the solution of a many parameter problem, and blame can be apportioned to all politicians who held power, by all reasonable persons. The euro proves to have been a disaster, the subsidies destroyed the agricultural web and brought pressure for civil service jobs, globalization and syndicates destroyed any industry brave enough to have survived etc.

      We in Greece are waiting bewildered and impotent for what is coming down on our heads.

  • Another blackmailing attempt has succeeded .
    Officially , we have a PM elected by German government .

    This is exactly what will lead to total chaos in Greece .
    So much for the european solution !

    Banks have the illusion that they prevailed !

  • Γιάννη,

    είμαι ενας Ελληνας της Αυστραλίας, και μολις τώρα έβλεπα το προγραμμα “insight”
    του οποίου ήσουν καλεσμένος και μίλησες από τον καναδά, θέλω να σε συγχαρώ για δύο πράματα:
    Πρώτον, γνωρίζεις το αντικείμενο σου, και βγάζεις νόημα, σε αντίθεση με τους κάθε λογής
    μπαγλαμαδες και καραγκιόζηδες εδώ που άγονται και φέρονται και τσαμπουνάνε ένα σωρό ηλιθιότητες και άρες μάρες κουκουνάρες
    και Δεύτερον γιατί έβαλες την Αυστραλέζα τηλεπαρουσιάστρια στην θέση της (Αϊ κυρά μου να κουρέψεις κάνα καγκουρό) που σε είχε απ’τα αγρια χαράματα ξύπνιο και δεν ήθελε να σε αφήσει να τελειώσεις την προταση σου.

    Θα διαβάσω οπώσδήποτε τό νέο σου βιβλίο.

    Είσαι οπωσδήποτε ένας από τους μετρημένους στα δαχτυλα (του ενος χεριού) επιστήμονες (πρίν να διαβάσω το βιβλίο σου θεωρούσα τους οικονομολόγους παπατζήδες και γιαλαντζή/Mickey Mouse επιστήμονες) που εκτιμώ και θα ήθελα να αξιωθώ να σου σφίξω το χέρι.

    Μακάρι να μην την διαλύσουνε την Ελλάδα μου!

  • Please post information about your New School time and location. It’s not on their website or on yours.

    • Thursday, November 10, at 2:00 pm. The event will be in room 901 at 6 East 16th St (between 5th Ave and Union Square West). The title: THE DANCE OF THE META-AXIOMS: On neoclassical economics’ most peculiar nemesis

  • I really wouldn’t call Papademos the most qualified .Was in not the head of the bank of Greece when Greece was providing Greek statistics to Brussels in 1997 thru 2001 to get us into this mess in the first place?

  • Great to see your points made on The Agenda (TVO) tonight. Thrilled you brought up the military spending by Greece into the German (and French) economies and importantly how it was not reduced. Now to get the word out that EU

    I wish i knew you were at U of T i would have paid a visit and invited you to dinner/coffee. I look forward to your new book and supporting it.

  • Hello Mr. Varoufakis,

    I wanted to mention that i enjoyed your debate which aired on “The Agenda” with Steve Paikin November 8, 2011. In my belief, it is the only television program in Ontario which offers interested viewers an unbiased and balance perspective on currant issues.

    I have not studied specific political issues or economic issues, as a result It was a challenge at times following the complex ideas and language which was used to illustrate the currant Greek and European crisis.

    Even as a novice, I do recognize and appreciate well thought out multi demential solutions which you presented in a straight forward and sober manner, to which I want to applaud you for. You naturally seemed to gain the support of your host as well as the esteemed panellists as they were for the most part agreeing with you.

    Well Done! I just hope the “smart” people listen.


  • Great show (T V O Canada.) It is refreshing to see consensus of practical ideas that help everybody. In with regards to the failure of the Greek rescue and where blame lies. May i suggest that it is Important to realize that blame is given for the top down. It is also unfortunate that blame can be useful regardless if it is deserved.

  • Professor Varoufakis,

    I happened to see you on the Canadian show “The Agenda” and I’m glad that you demystified certain rumours about what is happening in Greece.

    I do have a couple of questions though. You mentioned that the problem with the EU is the lack of what you called a Surplus Recycling Mechanism (forgive me if that’s a common term in your field, I’m not an economics student), Isn’t that the job of the national governments to understand where their countries strengths are and build the “ecosystem” to attract the necessary investment rather than some central plannng scheme to implement such a mechanism. Far too many times I’ve heard in people in Greek media refer to necessary foreign investment as “foreign occupation”.

    Secondly, I don’t hear people comparing/contrasting Greece’ crisis with Latvia’s crisis which what I understand, went through a similar crisis without devaluing it’s currency and is experiencing growth again. Is Latvia a fair comparison and if not, why not?

    • I am not Professor Varoufakis but might have a comment

      Both Latvia and Greece are similar in that they are in the periphery of the EU, joined the EU later than the founding members and they are both economically weaker than the core.

      There are a number of differences between Latvia and Greece, though:

      The debt level in Greece is far higher. About 2 Years ago (when the current Greek cisis started to become “acute”), the debt / GDP ratio was about 120%. I the course of 2010 and 2011, that worsened to about 160% (because the GDP fell in the recession plus there is still a major budget deficit).

      Latvia had a very low debt (somewhere around 10% of GDP) before the crisis and then tried to brutally balance its budget. This caused unemployment to rise and during the following strong recession, government debt went up anyway, to now about 45% of GDP. But now, the necessary austerity in Latvia is done and from this lower base, the economy grows again and the budget is now structurally balanced.

      Also, Latvia was a lot poorer (as it belonged to the USSR) and in the last few years before the recession, they enjoyed high growth rates (not unlike what Greece had). But as Latvia was truly poor only a few years ago, it was probably easier for Latvia to pull through some brutal reforms than this is in Greece where the population has become used to a certain level of welfare that is now endangered.

  • giani ayto pou zoume einai ena idos diapragmateyshs ana mind game ayth th stigmh,
    epishs thn 1noembriou opoios eixe thn pliroforia gia dimopsifisma
    eline to provlima xreous ths ellada?
    se parakalo apantise mas